- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Georgia high school teacher who was yanked from the classroom after comparing President Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” to a swastika is speaking out for the first time since video of the exchange went viral.

Lyn Orletsky, a teacher of five years at River Ridge High School in Woodstock, was seen on video kicking two students out of her class after they refused to turn their shirts bearing the pro-Trump slogan inside out. She was also heard saying it had nothing to do with Mr. Trump, but the slogan itself, which she compared to a swastika.

Ms. Orletsky told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an interview Thursday morning that she thought the shirts would be offensive to minority students in the class.

“I told the boys, in light of everything that has happened [in Charlottesville, Virginia], I don’t think this is an appropriate slogan to be wearing at school. Could they please go to the restroom and turn the shirt inside out?” she said.

The video went viral and the Cherokee County School District reportedly became the target of threatening emails. The district apologized for the teacher’s behavior and announced that she would be placed on administrative leave indefinitely.

Ms. Orletsky said the backlash has been a “nightmare.”

“I’ve been teaching calculus for about 15 years, and this class is the strongest class I’ve ever had for BC calculus. These students are being punished in a sense, because people have chosen to politicize this whole issue,” she told the Journal-Constitution. “Since I’ve been removed from my classroom, I just feel incredibly saddened that one of my classes in particular will not be getting the math training and learning they should be getting.

“I want students and parents in my class to understand that this was not political at all; this was my wanting a safe environment for my students,” she said. “Unfortunately, since Charlottesville, the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ has been appropriated by a number of hate groups, a number of neo-Nazi groups.

“I want everybody in that classroom to feel they are respected, and each should have their dignity,” she said. “People can wear President Trump T-shirts, it’s the statement, ‘Make America Great Again’ that’s the problem.”

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