A middle school student in Ohio was outraged after her school removed the word “feminist” from her shirt in a class photo using Photoshop.
Sophie Thomas, an eighth grade student at Clermont Northeastern Middle School in Batavia, Ohio, wore a T-shirt with the word written on it for her class photo when it was taken in March. When students received their class photos this week, Thomas was shocked to discover that the school had removed the word from her shirt.
“I was in class and they were passing out the photos to those who ordered them, and my friend got one so I looked at it [to] make sure I wasn't making a dumb face or anything,” she said. “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."
According to the school, they made the decision to remove the word from Thomas’ shirt after contacting her mother.
“It was not a very good picture,” Clermont Northeastern Superintendent Ralph Shell said. “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,” Shell added. “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.”
Christine Thomas, the student's mother, told reporters that she was never actually contacted by anyone at the school regarding the shirt. “They didn't contact us before,” Christine said. “It's upsetting. It's been an interesting week.”
“[The principal] apologized and said, 'What do you want from this?'” she added. “And Sophie said, 'I'd like to help more people understand what feminism is and why we need it.”
The teen’s story soon spread throughout the Internet, sparking outrage among those who felt the school went too far. Thomas said she just wants people to gain an understanding of what feminism truly is.
“People around here misconstrue the word,” she said. “Like, 'Oh, you're a feminist so you hate men.' I just want to spread equality, and a lot of people here don't agree with me.”
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk