The Hamilton School District in Sussex has apologized for blurring out the words "Jesus Loves You" on a student's sweatshirt in a Facebook post celebrating that student and two others for receiving a perfect score on a computer literacy test.
"Congratulations to these Hamilton High School students who earned a perfect score on their Microsoft Word Associate Certification exam in Computer Applications," the district wrote on its Facebook page, accompanying the message with a picture of the three students.
One of them was wearing a sweatshirt with the message "Jesus Loves You" that had been blurred out, prompting outrage from parents.
"You should be ashamed," wrote one commenter.
"This is very sad and disturbing," added another.
On Tuesday morning, Hamilton reversed course, took down the censored picture, and posted an apology.
"We wish to extend our sincere apologies for editing a student's sweatshirt in a recent photo," the district wrote. "The original intent of this photograph was to highlight and celebrate our students' remarkable achievements, a core value that drives our commitment to educational excellence.
"Regrettably, our efforts to adhere to guidelines inadvertently led to the blurring of a personal message of faith. We understand and regret that this action has shifted the focus away from our students' academic successes and sparked concerns among our supportive families and community members."
Hamilton then reposted the photo with the "Jesus Loves You" message unblurred.