Fridley High School tweeted a photo of a group of students Thursday, congratulating them on their art and writing awards.
Student Chris Vazquez appears in that photo. But the message on his T-shirt had disappeared.
“I don’t recall myself owning a white T shirt,” Vazquez tweeted. “The shirt actually said ‘Deport racists,’ and I would love to know whose decision it was to edit my shirt.”
He added: “FHS claims to be a school that celebrated diversity of opinion, yet censors something expressing an anti-racist viewpoint.”
By Saturday, more than 45,000 people had retweeted Vazquez, many of them criticizing the school for removing the message.
“We sincerely apologize for the miscommunication and frustration that yesterday’s post caused our students,” the school posted Friday on its Twitter account. “The intent of the edited photo was to make sure that focus remained solely on the scholastic arts awards that our outstanding students have earned.”
The school’s communications office “has acknowledged that the photo should not have been posted,” the statement continued. The principal and others met with students about the post. “More to come,” the school promised.