Philly high school student says teacher mocked her Romney T-shirt

    The talk of the week is the presidential debate in Denver, but a Philadelphia high-schooler is dealing with the aftermath of an unfortunate introduction to political polarization.

    The student says a teacher mocked her for wearing a Romney campaign T-shirt to class.

    Although 16-year-old Samantha Pawlucy can’t vote, if she could, she says she would vote for Mitt Romney. Samantha wore a Romney/Ryan T-shirt to Charles Carroll High School last Friday.

    “The day was fine,” she puts it, “until geometry class.”

    Samantha says her geometry teacher mocked her for wearing the shirt, and that an aide and other students joined in. The teacher later said she had been joking and ended up walking out of a meeting with Samantha and her parents, according to Kristine Pawlucy, the girl’s mother.

    District spokesman Fernando Gallard, who said the district is investigating the matter, said the student was exercising her free speech rights and not violating any district policy.

    The teacher has been moved to a different class.

    Samantha says she has received taunts and threats on Facebook from other students.

    Kristine Pawlucy says the world is a different place from when she was her daughter’s age, and Bill Clinton was running for president.

    “I don’t know how to explain. There’s just so many angry people it seems,” she said. “There’s a lot of anger on both ends and for that to shine through an adult, let alone a teacher, onto a child is unbelievable to me.”

    Kristine Pawlucy believes the school did not support her daughter, and that Samantha will stay home until she feels safe to go back to school.

     

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.