Lyn Orletsky, a teacher from River Ridge High School in Georgia, was not happy to see a couple of students in her classroom sporting Trump gear. She asked them to remove the clothing or leave, and it was all caught on video.
Turning Point USA, which has named the teacher, released the video taken by a student in the classroom. Orletsky had a problem with seeing the phrase “Make America Great Again” and said wearing clothing with that phrase on it was the same as wearing a swastika.
“Just like you cannot wear a swastika to school, you cannot wear a slogan like that,” the teacher told the students. “Please go, at least for this class. I don’t care what you do in other classes, but in my class.”
The student taking the video asked, “Wait, so, both of them have to, like, flip their shirts inside out because it says Trump on the top?” His camera turns as Orletsky nods her head. She then clarified, “Because it says ‘Make America Great Again.’”
“The neo-Nazis,” she added. “I’m not saying about Trump, but the slogan.”
The Cherokee County School District in Canton, Georgia, released the following statement about the incident:
[A] River Ridge High School math teacher on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 erroneously told two students their shirts with campaign slogans were not permitted in class. Her actions were wrong, as the “Make America Great Again” shirts worn by the students are not a violation of our School District dress code. The teacher additionally — and inappropriately — shared her personal opinion about the campaign slogan during class.
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 students will not be disciplined, the district stated, but could not discuss any disciplinary actions taken against the teacher. The principal was instructed to meet with teachers and staff to review the dress code and to urge them to keep their political opinions private.