Principal Photoshops Student's 'Offensive' Girl Power T-Shirt From Class Picture

13-year-old Sophie got quite a shock when she saw her eighth grade class photo from Clermont Northeastern Middle School in Owensville, Ohio. The day the picture had been taken, she'd been wearing a shirt that boldly displayed the word "FEMINIST" across the front. In the picture, however, it had been blacked out.


Sophie's mom Christine explained:

A couple of weeks ago Sophie wore a t-shirt to school that she had made that said "FEMINIST." She wore the shirt all day without any issues. It also happened to be the day the 8th grade class pictures were taken.

On Monday, the pictures were handed out to the students and Sophie sees the photo and notices that the word FEMINIST had been blacked out on her shirt. Sophie went to the school principal, Mrs. Young, to find out why this happened. Mrs. Young said, "the photographer called me and brought it to my attention and I made the decision to black it out because some people might find it offensive."

Whoa. I know there's a lot of debate these days about what feminism actually means, and there are certainly people who don't want to be labeled as a feminist, but it's seriously stretching to call it an "offensive" word.

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You know what is offensive? Violating Sophia's ability to freely express herself in an appropriate manner. Christine had a tough time getting in touch with Mrs. Young, but the administrator apparently had a change of heart about talking to her after she was contacted by the local news about her photoshop decision. Funny how that works, isn't it?

I actually had a meeting with Mrs. Young (the one who blacked out the shirt) today. She apologized to me profusely, of course, after the local news station called her this morning! She asked me if we were good? I told her she needed to apologize to Sophie and ask her that question. She seemed dumbfounded by that. So she called Sophie down to the office. She apologized to Sophie and asked "What do you want from this?"

Sophie replied, "I want everyone to realize that we NEED feminism. I want you to have someone come into the school and educate everyone about feminism. I want us to go to the news station together and show the people that we are working together the make this school and our community and better place for everyone. I don't think that’s too much to ask." I was so proud of her. She never once said I want a public apology or anything like that. She just wants to give to others. She is such a great kid.

Go Sophia, go! Is this kid amazing or what? She could've totally ignored the issue, maybe complained to her bff about it, but she's not having her freedom to express her beliefs tampered with.

She's even organized an event this Friday, which you can participate in thanks to the power of social media. On April 17, Sophia wants everyone who can to wear a shirt with a phrase like "I deserve freedom of expression," or "Feminism isn't offensive," and upload a selfie with the hashtag #IDESERVEFREEDOMOFEXPRESSION.

What a cool kid for not backing down when she felt that her rights were being violated. And good for the principal for realizing she made a mistake and apologizing. Hopefully it's not one she'll make again.

Do you think Sophia's shirt was offensive?


Image via idiotsophie/Instagram

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