You know things are bad in our schools when math teachers can’t leave their political biases at home. Sine, cosine, tangent, neo-Nazis.
You also have to wonder how many times teachers will have to see other teachers brought down by an intrepid student with a cell phone before they’ll wise up and keep their opinions to themselves.
The latest incident involves Lyn Orletsky, a math teacher at River Ridge High School in Cherokee County, Georgia. Ms. Orletsky was most displeased with two of her students and their Make America Great Again t-shirts, and told the students they must turn their shirts inside out and leave her classroom.
An unidentified student captured the incident with his cell phone. It shows Orletsky kicking the two male students out of her classroom, telling them, “Just like you cannot wear a swastika to school, you cannot wear [Make America Great Again] like that.”
When the cell phone-wielding student questions the teacher about what made the shirts offensive, the teacher responds:
“Because it says ‘Make America Great Again’. The neo-Nazis, I’m not saying that about Trump, but the slogan …”
Here is Orletsky in her own words:
The video was shot last week and made its way into the hands of Turning Point USA, an organization that seeks to “identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.”
As it turns out, Orletsky was completely in the wrong with her actions.
Cherokee County School District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said the teacher was ‘wrong’ to have made the comments.
‘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,’ Jacoby said.
‘The teacher additionally – and inappropriately – shared her personal opinion about the campaign slogan during class.’
The spokeswoman declined to elaborate on any disciplinary actions that may be taken against Orletsky, but the internet has its own way of meting out justice.
Take, for instance, her rating on ratemyteachers.com (screenshots via DailyMail):
And then there’s Twitter.
Teacher sez students MAGA T-shirt is neo-nazi…Teacher: Lyn Orletsky, River Ridge High School, GA (770)721-5500.
— Therese (@ThereseOSulliv2) September 4, 2017
@RiverRidgeHS Lyn Orletsky needs to be terminated for her discrimination and abuse of these students. A lawsuit needs to be filed.
— Trump Supporter (@cdmerrill2) September 4, 2017
@CherokeeSchools Lyn Orletsky should be removed from your staff. Demonstrating such poor judgment in the classroom is alarming.
— American (@WesternNC1969) September 4, 2017
Lyn Orletsky has surely learned a difficult lesson about bringing political biases into her classroom, but the question remains: Will other educators learn from her mistake?