A high-school math teacher in Woodstock, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta, was captured on video recently ordering two of her students to cover the Make America Great Again slogan of President Trump or else leave her classroom.
The entire scene was captured on camera last Thursday when she told the students with the pro-Trump shirts to leave, comparing the MAGA slogan to Nazi swastikas.
The Cherokee County School District has since apologized for the teacher’s actions and said that all teachers would be reminded in a memo that they are not to express their political opinions to students in the classroom.
“Just like you cannot wear a swastika in school, you cannot wear [Make America Great Again] like that,” Lyn Orletsky told her students during a math class at the school Thursday.
She asked them to flip their shirts inside out or leave.
“Please go. Please go at least for this class. I don’t care what you do in other classes but in my class …”
A third student then questioned the teacher.
“Wait, so both of them have to like flip their shirts inside out because it says Trump on the top?” the unidentified student asked.
“Because it says ‘Make America Great Again.’ The Neo-Nazis … I’m not saying about Trump, but the slogan,” the teacher replied before the video ends.
The teacher then sent the students out of her class, either to flip their shirts inside out or to leave entirely.
The video was sent to Turning Point News, which posted it on its website. The woman in the video has been identified as math teacher Lyn Orletsky from River Ridge High School in Woodstock, which is some 30 minutes north of Atlanta up Interstate 575.
Woodstock is in Cherokee County, a conservative county that voted solidly for Donald Trump in the presidential election.
River Ridge High School touts itself as one of the best public high schools in the nation. Its slogan, broadcast on the front page of its website, is “Where students and learning come first.”
Lyn Orletsky pictured in a photo from her Facebook page
But it appears that, at least in the case of Lyn Orletsky during math class Thursday, the teacher’s political opinion came first.
“To liken a democratically elected president to a genocidal regime is not only perversely incorrect, but indicative of a greater cultural trend,” wrote Turning Point, a conservative student group.
Turning Point says the media have drawn too many comparisons between President Trump and Hitler’s Nazi Party, to the point that a teacher at a high school feels compelled to order her students to not wear their Trump shirts.
“The Nazis were a brutal regime that killed millions of Jews,,” Turning Point declared. “To compare Trump to the Nazis is horrible. They orchestrated one of the largest and most horrifying genocides in human history. The holocaust was one of humanity’s lowest points.”
“Teachers in positions of authority have an obligation to encourage dialogue and common sense thinking. Criticism of candidates is permissible, but to use the stigma of the Nazis in such a way is not only morally bankrupt, it is harmful to our society.”
Cherokee County Schools has apologized but would not say if the teacher faces any disciplinary action. The district also refused to release the teacher’s name – that only came to light when students revealed it to Turning Point News.
“Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower is deeply sorry that this incident happened in one of our schools,” district spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It does not reflect his expectation that all students be treated equally and respectfully by our employees.”
State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, the longest serving Republican in the Georgia House of Representatives, said he was shocked by the video.
“It’s just shocking – you can’t do that to kids,” Ehrhart told the AJC. “That’s so wrong on so many levels. That individual doesn’t need to be anywhere near a classroom ever again.”
Orletsky is now claiming to be abused online and has disabled her Facebook account.