A high school teacher is reportedly fighting back against a New Jersey school district, claiming in a lawsuit Monday that she was made to “take the blame” for a 2017 controversy over edited yearbook photos that originally showed support for President Trump.
Photos of two students were adjusted in the 2017 Wall High School yearbook to remove the president’s name from their clothing. The modifications were requested by school district officials, Susan Parsons, who served as a yearbook adviser before her suspension, claimed in the lawsuit.
Parsons claimed that she faced harassment and was threatened as a result of the situation.
The lawsuit also said that she couldn’t share her side of the story with the press because of district policy and alleged that this went against her rights.
Parsons reportedly claimed she was often asked by the district to alter yearbook photos in an effort to remove anything considered potentially controversial, such as language on a T-shirt or hand gestures.
One student wore a sweater vest with Trump's name on it. Another student wore a T-shirt carrying the words "Trump Make America Great Again."
School officials have said one photo was altered even though the shirt the student was wearing didn't violate the school's dress code. The other photo was resized to match others and apparently wasn't altered for the purpose of removing Trump's name.
A Trump quote submitted by a third student, the freshman class president, apparently was accidentally omitted by a student.
A school secretary who had final say over the pages as a proxy for the principal told her to edit the T-shirt photo, Parsons alleged.
Wall Township Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Dyer told Fox News in a statement Tuesday that she couldn’t comment on the details of the lawsuit, as it had not yet been received or seen by the district or counsel.
“I can say that at the time of the incident I conducted a thorough investigation into the matter,” she said in the statement. “If and when there is a hearing on this matter, information regarding what took place will be made public and I'm confident that when the full facts come to light, all of the actions of this office and the Board of Education will be found to be wholly appropriate.”
Parsons is reportedly seeking unspecified damages and asking that the district policy that stopped her from talking to the media be struck down as unconstitutional.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.