Philly ‘Romney-Ryan’ HS student to sue math teacher, district over incident

It looks like the district’s decision to install condom machines in high schools isn’t the only controversy surrounding the Philadelphia School District this week.

The parents of 16-year old Samantha Pawlucy, the Philadelphia high school student who was taunted by her geometry teacher for wearing a Romney-Ryan T-shirt to school, filed a lawsuit in federal court against the teacher and the school district over the incident late last week. The Pawlucys’ suit alleges that the district and teacher Lynette Gaymon violated their daughter’s right to free speech and subjected her “to emotional distress, simply because she exercised her First Amendment rights.”

The family is also seeking damages for emotional distress, claiming that Gaymon defamed Pawlucy by suggesting that she was a racist and for allowing other students who disagreed with her political views to harass her, and is seeking a judge to enjoin the district to ensure that this doesn’t happen to other students.

“This is Philadelphia, the birthplace of freedom and things like that, but we have schools that want to take away her freedom,” the girl’s father said.

When asked by the Philadelphia Inquirer last week Philadelphia School District spokesman Fernando Gallard refused to comment on the lawsuit. In October Gallard acknowledged that Pawlucy had not violated any school codes by wearing the T-shirt.

Pawlucy wore the shirt to Charles Carroll High School on a casual dress day this past September. According to Fox 29 Philadelphia, the girl’s math teacher – Gaymon – took offense to her shirt, telling her that she “can’t wear a Republican shirt in a Democratic school” and that wearing the shirt was akin to being a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Gaymon then enlisted an aide to draw on Pawlucy’s shirt with a red Sharpie after she refused to take it off and allowed Pawlucy’s fellow classmates to mock her for the shirt.

She received a hero’s welcome when she returned to school on October 10th, commenting that ”(I’ve learned) to stand up for myself. Don’t let people tell me that what I’m doing is wrong” upon her return.

While Gaymon has since apologized, Pawlucy’s parents continue to call for her resignation and have removed their daughter from that high school. Governor Romney also called Pawlucy in October to praise her courage in handling the situation.

On Election Day the school district also sparked some controversy when it was ordered by a judge to temporarily cover a mural of President Barack Obama on the wall of a high school gymnasium that was being used as a polling site.

 

Comments

Comments

  1. crazymensa says:

    As with the media, teachers and professors feel it is their civic duty to instill our children with their opinions on just about anything. I have had children in high school and college who have had to deal with this and were subjected to ridicule from the teacher(s) and other students. My daughter was bullied teachers (in HS) for standing up for her constitutional right of freedom of speech. Because she was constantly bullied by the teachers and students (nothing was done by the administrators) she decided to transfer to a cyberschool, where she graduated. These people are not paid to teach nor give their opinions, especially politically. If religion cannot be mentioned (let alone taught) then so should it be that political opinion and affiliation should not be tolerated. This is the type of rhetoric that breeds hatred and violence; maybe the fingerpointers ought to take a look to whom the three fingers are pointing back…

  2. Mike S says:

    Freedom of speech includes the freedom to respond to that speech or message. This is important to remember when we have to listen to someone spewing absolute crap. We do not have to sit back and be silent. I support this girl and am proud of her. The teacher and teachers aid should never step foot in a class room again. Their response attempted to silence the girl rated then simply respond. We must be careful not to silence responses or our responses will be silenced.

  3. t. says:

    I’d like to know just where on that tshirt did the “aid” use a SHARPIE?? This is bullying, plain and simple, AND a violation of free speech AND destruction of private property AND quite possibly something akin to assault, depending on how the “Sharpie action” was executed.

    The “teacher” (according to their website a student teacher?) should be disciplined. Without any disciplinary action the school has, in effect, supported the action and made it clear to students and faculty alike that similar future action will go unpunished.

    Because no disciplinary action has been taken to date, I think Samantha has a good case.

    Hope she gets a pile of money. Paying out always makes schools start paying attention.

Polititainment

Suggested names for Weiner's new joint

"Anthony's Big Boy," "DcDonald's" ...

'House of Cards' to feature Pussy Riot
Is this another sign Frank Underwood might be taking on Vladimir Putin in season three of Netflix’s “House of Cards?” The Baltimore City Paper reported that Nadezhda “Nadya” Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, of the anti-Putinist Russian performance art and punk protest group Pussy Riot, filmed scenes for the next season in early August. Pussy Riot gained international […]
Nelson, Young lead anti-Keystone concert
Musicians Willie Nelson and Neil Young will headline an anti-Keystone XL pipeline concert in September. The concert, called “Harvest the Hope,” will take place Sept. 27 in a field on a farm owned by the Tanderup family who are part of a strong collective of Nebraska landowners refusing to sell their land to TransCanada for the Keystone […]
Christie, McCain dance with Jamie Foxx
We’re thinking Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx said it best. “Republicans love to dance – in the Hamptons,” Foxx told Page Six. Foxx’s fundraiser in the Hamptons Saturday night saw both New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) hop on stage and dance it out in front of an audience that included the likes […]
President Obama's facial expressions

During a recent episode of "The Tonight Show, Fallon unveiled a segment that showcased Obama's best and lesser known facial expressions.

White House

President Obama ‘didn’t know’ the Missouri governor was calling National Guard to Ferguson

As has been the case with so many crises that have faced America during Obama's time in the White House, it appears the president has learned about the Missouri Governor calling the National Guard to Ferguson on the news.

Obama back in Washington on rare vacation break
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama returned to Washington just after midnight Monday for a two-day break from a summer vacation, during which airstrikes in Iraq and violent clashes in a St. Louis suburb intruded on his golf and beach plans. The exact reason for Obama’s return remained unclear, though it appeared aimed in part […]
Police chief rips Obama remarks on Ferguson
THE HILL – The executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police criticized President Obama Thursday for his remarks about law enforcement in Ferguson, Mo. “I would contend that discussing police tactics from Martha’s Vineyard is not helpful to ultimately calming the situation,” director Jim Pasco said in an interview with The Hill. “I think what […]
Obama spokesman says ‘good time was had by all’ at party as Ferguson protests raged

The White House reported that President Obama and guests had a kicking good time at a birthday party Wednesday while protests raged yet another night in the torn suburb of Ferguson, Mo.

White House Official: Hillary Clinton and Obama ‘have had many hugs over the past few years’
If you were looking forward to seeing pictures of Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama “hugging it out,” today is your unlucky day. Press will not be allowed in at a Martha’s Vineyard soiree Wednesday night where the two are expected to make up  after Clinton criticized Obama’s foreign policy strategy in a recent interview with The Atlantic. […]

Congress

See the 'Best of' Pelosi's incoherent babbles
Whether she is spouting off about  “race ha[ving] something to do” with the Republican stance on immigration or charging across the U.S. House floor to call a fellow representative “insignificant,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is known for saying some crazy things. Roll Call has compiled some of Pelosi’s greatest hits from 2014 in a video […]
Voters do not believe Congress deserves reelection
Most Americans do not believe current members of Congress deserve to be reelected, a new poll finds. A Gallup poll released Monday found that only 19 percent of registered voters say most members of Congress deserve to be reelected. This the second lowest figure since Gallup first started asking the question in 1992. People feel more […]
Schock outlines how GOP can attract millennials
Positive messaging, reaching out in person, and uniting the party behind strong economic policies are all ways Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) thinks the Republican party can win over millennial voters. Schock appeared on CNN Friday to talk with conservative commentator S.E. Cupp about winning young voters. As the second-youngest member of the House of Representatives at […]
Rep. Justin Amash defends his bold victory speech
After a bitter primary fight, Rep. Justin Amash (R- Mich.) delivered a bold victory speech in which he skewered his opponent last week. The Congressman has taken plenty of heat for his less-than-gracious words, but Amash is not backing down. Amash wrote an op-ed in the Grand Rapids Press Thursday to defend his statements and to […]
Rand Paul decries militarization of police
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) decried the militarization of police in Ferguson, Mo. in an op-ed published Thursday in Time magazine. Though he was responding to the chaos that has broken out after the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by police, he warned that the scene in Missouri was the result of  ”a systemic problem […]