An Ohio eighth grader says that the word “feminist” was photoshopped out of her class picture after the school said the word may be “offensive” to some people. The school backs up their decision to remove the word from the shirt as they didn’t want it to create any “unintended controversies.” However, it seems the removal of the word caused more controversy than intended with many taking to Instagram to show support for the student’s freedom of expression.
Sophie Thomas, an eighth grader at Clermont Northeastern Middle School says that she wore a plain black t-shirt with the word “feminist” etched across the center for her class photo in March. However, when Sophie received her photo at school this week she noticed her shirt had been photoshopped, removing the word and leaving a plain black shirt.
According to WLBT, when Sophie received the photo, she went to school administration to ask why the shirt had been photoshopped. The school principal, Kendra Young, claims that the word was removed from the shirt to avoid any “unintended controversies.” Young notes that the photo will be displayed on the school’s wall and that other students will have the option to purchase the image. Therefore, the school must take measures to ensure it is least controversial as possible.
However, Sophie says that when she asked the principal about the incident, Young informed her that some may find the word “offensive” so they removed it to be safe.
“I was upset. I went to the principal’s office and she told me she blacked it out because it’s offensive to some people.”
Today reports that superintendent Ralph Shell claims the student and her family were contacted before making the alterations to the photo. Shell says that it was agreed to “take the thing off.” Shell also notes that during the meeting, the principal offered the unaltered photo to Sophie’s family, but says the doctored photo will be the one to hang on the school wall.
“It was not a very good picture. The parents were contacted, the young lady was contacted, it was agreed to take the thing off. They said it was OK to remove it. The principal said, ‘If you want the original with that on there, you’re more than welcome to have it. But the one that’s going up on the wall is the picture without it.’ The principal met with the mother and daughter face to face here at the school.”
Sophie and her parents say that they were never contacted about the alteration to the photo and were only made aware of the issue after the photoshop work was done. Sophie also notes that she has worn the shirt numerous times to school without issue and that the shirt does not violate the dress code.
What do you think about the school editing out the word “feminist” from a class photo? Do you find anything “offensive” about the word?
[Image Credit: Twitter/ Sophie Thomas]