PARENTS ANGERED AFTER PRO-TRUMP TEES DIGITALLY ALTERED FROM HIGH SCHOOL YEAR BOOK PHOTOS

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J.– Some parents at one central New Jersey high school are up in arms after discovering that their children’s High School year book photos were digitally altered by someone who did not agree with the students’ pro-Trump beliefs.

The parents of 17 year old Grant Berardo say they had no problem with their son’s decision to wear a Make America Great Again photo on school picture day in October. They were baffled, however, they say when they discovered that the logo had been edited out when their son brought his high school year book home.

“He just wanted to memorialize what was going on in the country at the time,” the boy’s father, Joseph Berardo, told The Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2017/06/12/parents-outraged-after-pro-trump-messages-were-edited-out-of-this-high-schools-yearbooks/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.8e1c7fb4dd4e). Bernardo says he was astounded because the shirt did not violate the school’s dress code in any way and contained no reference to drugs, alcohol or weapons.

Shockingly, Bernardo’s shirt was not the only pro-Trump shirt to be altered.

At least two other shirts were changed to remove pro- Trump messages. According to their parents, a Trump logo on a shirt worn by junior Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago and a quote by the president that was meant to appear beneath sister Montana’s picture were also missing from the teens’ year book photos. “I like thinking big. If you are going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big,” the quote was supposed to read.

Janet Dobrovich-Fago, the mother of the siblings whose photos were altered, told NJ.com (http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2017/06/students_trump_shirt_black-out_in_high_school_year.html) that she’s outraged by what she calls a clear case of political censorship.

“We’re very angry,” Dobrovich-Fago said. “When we saw that Montana’s quote dropped out, we thought it was a mistake because all the other class presidents’ quotes were still there.

“But when we saw that Wyatt’s shirt was photoshopped and we heard about Grant, I knew this was not a coincidence. This was purposeful, and it’s wrong.”

A spokesperson for Wall Township schools has refused to comment on who may have been behind the edits, but in a statement (http://www2.wall.k12.nj.us/superintendent/2017/06/10/yearbook-investigation/) school superintendent Cheryl Dyer said the district does not condone censorship.

The statement in its entirety reads:

“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.”

As for Joseph Berardo, he feels that’s just not good enough. Instead, the outraged father is demanding that the school reissue the yearbook, complete with an admission of guilt.

“I want the yearbooks to be reissued and I want a letter from the administration explaining why they are reissuing the yearbook,” he said.

Berardo added that the school could utilize the incident to express the importance of the First Amendment.

“There is an opportunity to use this as a teaching moment for the kids, and for the teachers as well,” the father said. “This is a First Amendment, freedom of speech issue.”

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‘FAKE NEWS’: PRESIDENT DENIES WRONGDOING IN COMMUNICATION WITH RUSSIA; CALLS INFORMATION EXCHANGED WITH RUSSIAN OFFICIALS ‘WHOLLY APPROPRIATE’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump came out swinging this morning in response to a Washington Post report on Monday that he provided classified information to Russia during a meeting last week at the White House (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-revealed-highly-classified-information-to-russian-foreign-minister-and-ambassador/2017/05/15/530c172a-3960-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html?utm_term=.57d4272b0b7b).

“As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism. I have been asking Director Comey & others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community,” the president continued.

Calling the Washington Post report just another example of “fake news” the Trump administration defended the president’s conversations with Russian officials as “wholly appropriate,” denying claims that the president revealed highly classified information on an Islamic State terror threat at any point to Russian officials.

During an often combative White House briefing on Tuesday, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the president was not “even aware” of the information he is being accused of sharing with the Russians.

“The president wasn’t even aware where this information came from. He wasn’t briefed on the source or method of the information either,” said McMaster. “What was shared was wholly appropriate given the purpose of that conversation and the purpose of what the president was trying to achieve through that meeting.”

When pressed for a yes or no answer on whether Trump had disclosed any classified information during the course of the meeting, McMaster replied, “We don’t say what’s classified, what’s not classified. What I will tell you again is that what the president shared was wholly appropriate.”

McMaster, who said he was in the room throughout the entire meeting between the president and Russian officials, said as much as members of the mainstream media may like to assert a scandal, there is none on this topic to be found. “The president was emphasizing we have some common interests here. We have to work together in critical areas,” McMaster said. “So this was the context of the conversation in which it was wholly appropriate to share what the threat was as a basis for common action and coordination.”

A spokesperson for the Russian government also came forth on Tuesday to call allegations that Trump inappropriately shared classified information with representatives of their government “completely false”.

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LIFE CHANGER: DOWN ON HIS LUCK TEEN GETS CHANCE AT NEW LIFE THANKS TO COP WITH A HEART

VALLEJO, CA — A hard working teenager now has a new shot at life thanks to the kindness of a stranger.

Jourdan Duncan, who had grown accustomed to walking 7 miles to work every day and then back home as he struggled to save up for a car now drives himself where ever he needs to go thanks to a police officer who was touched by the 19-year-old’s work ethic.

Last September, Cpl. Kirk Keffer of the Benicia Police Department saw Duncan walking along an industrial road. “It was kind of weird to see someone walking around on foot,” Cpl. Kirk Keffer told The Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2017/03/02/this-teenager-was-walking-for-hours-to-and-from-work-until-a-police-stop-changed-his-life/?utm_term=.3fe9f87c0d0d).

Keffer stopped Duncan and gave him a ride home, learning that the boy was making the 14-mile-a-day track so he could keep his job at a local factory where he worked in a packaging line.

“It’s not a problem for me,” Duncan told the Washington Post in September, adding that he chose to walk after his car broke down so he wouldn’t be a burden on his family. Asked what his future goals were, Duncan told Keffer that he wanted to save up enough money to go to college.

Inspired by the young man’s ambition and work ethic, Keffer approached his fellow officers and the Benicia Police Officers’ Association and together they surprised Duncan with a new bicycle so he would no longer have to walk.

“We would like to acknowledge your hard work and dedication for what you do and setting the example for kids your age,” they told Duncan in September. “Hopefully this’ll make your trip easier.”

But Cpl Keffer didn’t stop there. He and his fellow men and women in blue started a GoFundMe campaign to raise some money for Duncan to fix his car and the community responded. Big time.

Duncan’s story quickly went viral and as of Tuesday, donations totaling $42,000 have come in.“The community just had an outpouring of love for him,” Keffer told the Post on Tuesday. “It was something the community needed, something positive at the time.”

With part of the funds raised, Duncan purchased a used Volkswagen Passat for $2,900 and used the rest to start school at Solano Community College. He says he hopes to be a police officer when he graduates so that he can help to give back.

“This is actually my first year and official year of attending this school,” said Duncan. “I’m so happy to be here.”

Duncan attends early morning classes four days a week then works his warehouse job in Benicia five nights a week.

“I get the question, why do I still work,” he said. “Because it won’t last forever. Any money I get I try to save or use for my needs and wants. Mostly my needs because my wants can come later.”

He says he’s eternally grateful to Cpl.Keffer and to all those who reached out to help him better his life.

“I just want to tell everyone thank you,” he said. “I can’t let it be for nothing.”

“I’m just super proud of him. He could have went so many different ways with that money,” Keffer said. “He’s got a bright future ahead of him. I just hope that he continues down this path.”

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