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NBC10 Philadelphia - Lu Ann Cahn
A student at Charles Caroll High School in Port Richmond caused quite the controversy after wearing a "Romney Ryan" shirt to school. The students parents say they filed a complaint against the a teacher for humiliating their daughter in front of her class for her shirt choice. NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn reports.
The Philadelphia high schooler who made national headlines after she shared her story about being asked to remove her Gov. Mitt Romney campaign T-shirt returned to school on Tuesday.
Samantha Pawlucy, a 16-year-old sophomore at Charles Carroll High School in the Port Richmond section of the city, says she wore a pink Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan T-shirt during the school's dress down day on Sept. 28.
The teen says she was humiliated after her geometry teacher told her to lose her Gov. Mitt Romney T-shirt comparing it to “wearing a KKK shirt.”
"The teacher told me to get out of the classroom, I said no," Samantha said.
"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."
Samantha was so embarrassed by the public criticism, she told her parents she didn’t want to return to school.
On Friday, Samantha and her parents went to the school to file a formal complaint against teacher Lynette Gaymon. Father Richard Pawlucy says students taunted them through school windows, even though the superintendent says Samantha did nothing wrong.
"He wants to put out a bulletin for the children, that Samantha was in the right and the teacher was wrong" said Pawlucy.
Students are supporting Gaymon, a popular math teacher. Tight security stopped them from a planned rally on Friday. But one told NBC10 "since day one, she's been about kids' rights and kids' expression and I think she's a good teacher."
Gaymon was moved to another classroom as the school district investigated the incident.
Richard Pawlucy said Gaymon did apologize to his daughter, saying the comments were meant as a joke.
"It was funny to her but I was really embarrassed," Samantha said.
Pawlucy tells NBC10 that Mayor Michael Nutter met with his family over the weekend but wouldn't say what Nutter told Samantha.
A rally was held Tuesday at 7:45 a.m. as Pawlucy returned to school. Supporters gathered to cheer the girl on.
"I want to thank everyone for coming out," said Pawlucy. "I know there are a lot of things they have to do today and they came out to support me."
Gaymon wrote a letter to students stating in part she's, "sorry for the negative attention" surrounding the school. She also says she hopes the community can use the incident as a lesson in how to "agree without being disagreeable."