A high school mathematics teacher, who asked two students wearing T-shirts with the “Make America Great Again” slogan to step out of her class, prompted the school district authorities to apologize to the students and their parents. The incident took place Aug. 31 at River Ridge High School in Cherokee County, Georgia.
The teacher’s name has not been released by the school district, but she was identified as Lyn Orletsky by Turning Point News, a young-adult driven social news site. The website obtained footage where the teacher can be seen asking the students to leave the classroom.
In the video uploaded on the website, the teacher can be seen telling the students that they can wear the T-shirts bearing President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan in other classes, but not in her class. “Just like you cannot wear a Swastika to school, you cannot wear ‘Make America Great Again’ like that. Plz go…Plz go for at least this class,” she said.
In a statement released Sept. 3, Cherokee County School District said the teacher’s actions were wrong as the “Make America Great Again” shirts are not a violation of the school district dress code. “The school’s Principal immediately met with and apologized to these students and their families. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower is deeply sorry that this incident happened in one of our schools; it does not reflect his expectation that all students be treated equally and respectfully by our employees,” the statement said.
Soon after the video of the incident was circulated on social media, local officials reacted to it. Rep. Earl Ehrhart (R-Georgia 36th District) told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “It’s just shocking – you can’t do that to kids… That’s so wrong on so many levels. That individual doesn’t need to be anywhere near a classroom ever again.”
Ehrhart said he also contacted Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Georgia 23rd District) about the incident. Ballinger told The AJC: “The action has been soundly condemned by the Board of Education and the students were apologized to…I’m glad the school district upheld the students’ right to free speech.”
Rep. John Carson (R-Georgia 46th District) expressed shock at the incident and called it “absolutely despicable.” He told The AJC in an email: “It’s ironic to me that the political left claims to promote free speech, but then attempts to silence conservative free speech.”
This is not the first time a school…