Is the word “feminist” too controversial? According to one school principal, it might be too scandalous for middle school.
An Ohio middle-school student named Sophie told local news channel FOX19 that she wore a T-shirt on which she had hand-written the word “Feminist” to school on class picture day. She wore the shirt through the school day without incident, and wore it in her class picture.
However, when photos were released later, she found that the school had doctored the photo to erase the word “feminist” from her shirt.
The school’s principal, Kendra Young, told FOX19 that the photo was doctored to remove the word “feminist” to avoid any "unintended controversies." She admitted that the shirt does not violate any school policies or dress codes, but said that the reasoning behind the decision was that students buy the photos, and she wanted to avoid any possibility of any controversy.
Young also told FOX19 that the original, undoctored image will be provided to the student if she wants it.
Sophie herself also took to Instagram and Twitter to protest the school’s decision, saying she deserved freedom of expression. Sophie also said on Instagram that she is planning to ask classmates to show their support at school on Friday by making and wearing their own feminist T-shirts.
Sophie also said on Instagram that Young told her the shirt was doctored because it was "offensive."
If the school wanted to avoid controversy, their efforts backfired miserably. Now, many feminists on social media are rallying in support of Sophie using the hashtags #IDeserveFreedomOfExpression and #KeepFeminismInSchools.