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A Philadelphia high school sophomore says she didn’t want to go back to Charles Carroll High after a geometry teacher ridiculed her for wearing a pink Mitt Romney T-shirt during the school’s uniform-free dress-down day last week, NBC10 Philadelphia reports.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, 16-year-old Samantha Pawlucy said she was told Carroll High is a “Democratic school,” and that wearing a pro-Romney-Ryan shirt is analogous to the teacher, who is black, wearing a KKK shirt.
"The teacher told me to get out of the classroom, I said 'no,'" Pawlucy told NBC Philadelphia. "She told me to take off my shirt and said that she has another one if I need one. And then the teacher asked me … 'are your parents Republican?' I said, 'I don't know.'”
The teacher later apologized and insisted she was joking, but allegedly commented to the class next day that she could no longer crack jokes in class because a student had gotten her in trouble. Samantha told the Inquirer that the teacher's remarks upset her to the point where she had to leave the room.
"If it was a joke between two adults, I can take a joke like that but [Sam] didn't know how to take it, she doesn’t understand, she actually thinks she did something wrong," father Richard Pawlucy told NBC Philadelphia.
Philadelphia School District spokesman Fernando Gallard confirmed to the Philly School Files blog that last Friday at Carroll High, “a teacher made some comments to a student wearing a Romney T-shirt in their classroom. The comments were of a political nature, and also of a personal nature. We are looking into the comments, and the conduct of the teacher.”
The teacher has been transferred to another classroom while the district conducts its investigation and determines whether to pursue disciplinary action.
Gallard told the Inquirer Pawlucy was practicing her Constitutional rights to free speech, and that her choice of wardrobe fell within the dress-down day limits.
Earlier this week, 15-year-old Brianna Demato of Newtown High School in Queens, N.Y. was sent home because school officials deemed her "I Enjoy Vagina" T-shirt too distracting. The bisexual teen says the school violated her rights to free speech.
In May, Jordan Griffith, a 13-year-old student at South Jones Elementary School in Mississippi, was told by his teacher to turn his shirt inside out after school officials ruled its depiction of the United States Marine Corps bulldog's testicles on the back "too much." Griffith wore the shirt in support of his brother, who was deployed to Afghanistan.