Samantha Pawlucy is a 16-year-old sophomore at Charles Carroll High School in Philadelphia, and a Mitt Romney supporter. Friday, on her school’s “dress-down” day, Pawlucy left her uniform at home and wore a pink Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan T-shirt to her Port Richmond district school. According to NBC News, the shirt was a non-issue, until Samantha got to her geometry class.
“The teacher told me to get out of the classroom, I said no,” Samantha reported to NBC News. “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.’ She said that’s like her wearing a KKK shirt.” The teacher then allegedly pulled Samantha out into the hall, reports The Inquirer, to “urge other teachers and students to mock her.” The teacher allegedly even took a marker and tried to cross out the names from the girl’s shirt. After trying to throw Samantha out of class, the teacher commented that Carroll is a “Democratic school.”
“I was really embarrassed and shocked. I didn’t think she’d go in the hallway and scream to everyone,” Pawlucy said. “It wasn’t scary, but it felt weird.” Pawlucy’s father, Richard, who registered to vote independent and has no involvement in the Romney campaign, said she made her own political decision to wear the shirt. The 16-year-old said she “decided to wear the shirt after researching the candidate and President Obama and concluding that she’s a Romney supporter.” Samantha’s father, Richard Pawlucy, added that Samantha was “especially interested in Romney’s opposition to partial-birth abortion.”
Pawlucy was so embarrassed by the public humiliation that she did not want to return to school. Her parents set up a meeting with the principal and teacher to discuss the situation, but the teacher stormed out of the meeting, declaring that her comments were just a joke. The school is currently investigating the situation further, but Richard Pawlucy is not convinced the school is taking the matter seriously. “I’m not sure what we’re gonna do from this point,” he said, “I don’t know if I should meet with the school again. I don’t really think the principal is gonna help us on this.”
Fernando Gallard, spokesperson for the district, said that after the official complaint is received, the district will “conduct a series of interviews over the next days, eventually determining whether there is sufficient evidence to move forward with disciplinary action.” As far as Samantha’s actions are concerned, Gallard states that she was within her rights to wear the shirt “on a ‘dress-down’ day where non-uniform clothing ‘within reason’ is permitted.’ “
“It’s a Constitutional right. It’s freedom of speech,” Gallard added.
Samantha was “shocked” to return to her geometry class on Tuesday and find the teacher still there. The teacher allegedly told the class that she was no longer allowed to make jokes with the students because someone got her in trouble. Pawlucy fled the classroom and spent the rest of the period hiding in the bathroom.
The teacher has currently been transferred to another classroom while the investigation is completed.