The administration of the Wall Township Public Schools is aware of an allegation of censorship and the possible violation of First Amendment rights in the high school yearbook this year. This allegation is being taken very seriously and a thorough investigation of what happened is being vigorously pursued.
As of today, two parents have notified the school district of ways in which the attire of their children was altered in yearbook photos. Further, there are claims that comments or quotes offered for inclusion in the yearbook were not published. References to and support of President Trump were involved in each of these incidents.
While the investigation is ongoing, the administration of the Wall Township Public Schools would stress three initial points:
First, there is nothing in Wall Township High School’s student dress code that would prevent a student from expressing his or her political views, or support for a political figure, via appropriate clothing and attire. Indeed, the administration applauds students for becoming involved in politics, making their voices known, and taking an active part in our democracy.
Second, the administration of Wall High School was not aware of and does not condone any censorship of political views on the part of our students. This includes statements that students might make, or clothing that advocates for specific political views, candidates, or public officials. Our dress code does, however, prohibit references to illegal activity such as the use of drugs, alcohol or weapons.
Third, the administration and staff of the Wall Township Public Schools strongly value the principles of free speech and inquiry in our schools and society, viewing them as the bedrock upon which our community and educational system is built. The allegations referenced above are disturbing, and any inappropriate challenge to these principles will be rectified as swiftly and thoroughly as possible. The actions of the staff involved will be addressed as soon as the investigation is concluded.
Thank you for your concern and continued support.