Cherokee teacher in Trump T-shirt incident resigns after threats on life, attacks on character

Cherokee math teacher Lyn Orletsky: While my actions have been portrayed as political, I was trying to create a supportive classroom for all my students.

Cherokee County math teacher Lyn Orletsky announced today she is resigning after her request to two boys to conceal their Trump “Make America Great Again” T-shirts exploded into a social media maelstrom and led to her suspension.

She made the request only after students in her pre-calculus class voiced concerns about the message on the shirts worn that morning by two classmates. Her exchange with the boys, captured on cellphone video and released to a conservative website, led to email threats on her life and a GOP candidate for Georgia governor picketing her school.

“After attacks on my character and threats on my life, I have made the decision to resign from my teaching position at River Ridge High School. While in hindsight I would have handled the situation differently, the outcry over this incident has been disproportionate to the event itself,” she said in a statement.

The classroom conversation took place two weeks after white supremacists and Neo Nazis adopted “Make America Great Again” as their rallying cry in Charlottesville, Va. A counterdemonstrator was killed and others injured when one of the marchers drove his car intentionally into a crowd. “I told the boys, in light of everything that has happened, 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?” said Orletsky.

The boys asked what was wrong with the slogan. The math teacher said it had been commandeered by white supremacist movement, as the swastika had been by Nazis. Adopted by hate groups, the slogan could intimidate some of their classmates, she said. “There is nothing wrong with a shirt of President Trump. The problem is with the slogan.”

Orletsky had never voiced any concerns with other Trump paraphernalia, although many students wore it. Nearly three out of our Cherokee County four voters endorsed Donald Trump. A  student told me Orletsky never mentioned politics even during the election.

Several Cherokee parents vouched for her expertise as a math teacher; she holds the highly regarded National Board Certification. In Florida where she taught previously, Orletsky was a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the Titusville (FL) High School Teacher of the Year and Brevard County Schools Exemplary Mathematics Teacher of the Year.

Many readers told me Orletsky deserved to be fired for this transgression. Of course, none of them had a student in her class. So, they weren’t concerned with the fate of Orletsky’s AP math students for whom a gap of even a few weeks in instruction could undermine their performance on the killer AP exam required to earn college credit.

Among the emails sent to the school and Orletsky was one from Oregon, which said:

You and your liberal agenda’s have finally pushed us into a corner. Do you know what happens when a rabid dog feels trapped in a corner, he only has one option and that is to defend himself at all cost so it never happens again Do you read me loud and clear?????? We are coming for YOU!!!!!! We are coming for YOU!!!!!! We are coming for YOU!!!!!!

That is a promise.

In the end, this was about a political agenda, which always takes precedence over education in Georgia.

Here is a video interview with Orletsky a few weeks ago.

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

105 comments
An American Patriot
An American Patriot

Folks, What's wrong with "Making America Great Again"?  The previous president almost succeeded in destroying our great country and "someone has a problem with a T-Shirt"?  She should have been FIRED....what she did has NO PLACE in our school systems.  Most of you who have read and commented on this blog have probably benefitted from President Donald J. Trump being our Commander-In-Chief......get used to it, the best is yet to come.

John Looman
John Looman

Well I believe that Trump specifically condemned, " the KKK, neo-nazis, and white supremacists."

gapeach101
gapeach101

Only after he called them good people.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@gapeach101 

Here is the full speech below. "We are all Americans first" "We have to love each other".

It's interesting just who organized the Charlottesville permitted protest against removal of a confederate statue (Gen. Lee) and his political affiliation just a couple of years ago. He is the one who allowed a small group of Neo-Nazis to be scheduled to speak. He claimed free speech included such a group. This was in response to the burning of Berkeley and violent attacks on free speech and Portland too.

It's also interesting that a Californian crowd sourcing organization-someone paid to have protesters there. If your cause is so just, why does one have to pay to organize protesters there? Who paid? Who benefited?


Terry McFluffy- Democrat Governor, just before the permitted protest was to begin, declared a state of emergency and stopped the speakers, then forced the attendees down a gauntlet of non-permitted protesters that contained ANTIFA who shortly afterwards were declared a "terror organization" due to their violence there, Berkeley x2 and Portland in recent attacks on free speech. The unarmed permitted protesters were beaten by ANTFA and BLM un-permitted counter protesters.

Also interesting is the city mayor-Berkeley educated democrat and the back story on his second in charge-who after being appointed to VA board of education was asked to resign and why he was asked? This is the same person who spit on the statue and instigated its removal. His social account's reflect support for the militant Black Panthers that some would claim is the equivalent of white supremacist groups.  


The far majority of American, except for tiny insignificant fractions, do not support any particular racial supremacy or Neo Nazism but do condemn violence and refuse to condone the tactic of claiming those who disagree with you then you are a racist Nazi. It undermines the efforts of those who honest suffered and cheapens the terms. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtFJOGnUkBU

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

I know the strategy of GOP candidate Michael Williams is to go to the edge and jump, but this seems a dangerous calculation -- taking credit for running a smart Cherokee County math teacher out of the district, which has hurt students.


This teacher received death threats. She was attacked on white supremacist websites. And someone wants to stand up and say, "You can thank me for this"?

It's also a risky posture for a candidate because not all Cherokee parents are happy with this outcome, especially those who were in the class of this National Board Certified math teacher. As one parent said on Facebook, "This is sickening to me. My child has a substitute math teacher in a high level math class because of the ridiculousness of this man."

Another day where I wonder why anyone would ever teach in this climate.


From GOP candidate Michael Williams:

This is a huge victory for Team Williams. Michael Williams led supporters in a protest at the school demanding she be fired, bringing needed media attention to an issue that was being swept under the rug.

This morning, Williams sent an email asking supporters to join him in another protest this Thursday at the school board meeting. He made clear he was not going to allow the situation to be forgotten. Only hours after his email, the teacher submitted her resignation. Once again, proving he is a man of more results, and less talk.

The other candidates for governor, out of fear of being politically incorrect, remained silent on this issue. Yet Michael Williams stood up for the students whose rights were taken from them.

He wishes the best for the teacher, and hopes she will think twice before comparing all Trump supporters to neo-Nazi’s in the future.

teacherandmom
teacherandmom

@MaureenDowney Reading the blog and social media responses over this incident, I fear Williams will end up as Governor.


Your earlier comment nailed it.  We have lost our collective minds.




HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@MaureenDowney 

I for one would very much like to thank you for not deleting and banning opposing viewpoints especially when they contain facts that erode your position. Kudos!

I will point out that MAGA is the battle cry for patriots, conservatives, constitutionalist, anti-socialist and as you point out a small fraction-insignificant of white supremacist.

The far majority are not Nazis, they are not Supremacist and it includes most of America who are sick of the uniparty system of self-enriching politics at the cost of our citizenry.

I disagreed with the administration of "Hope and Change" but when teens ignorantly wore it emblazoned on their shirts or hats I didn't demand they remove them because it represented "Communism or Socialism" and was in conflict of our Constitution or bill of rights.

We have a segment of society that supports disrespecting our American flag, refusing to stand due the oppression it represents while ignoring that multi-million dollar contract they signed and who actually murders/murdered >90% of Americas young Afro-American males and it's not racist police.

When we as a society fail to engage in truthful effective dialogue then we fail. When we shout someone down to shut them down and use violence to shut them up or force them to flee, we fail. We we disingenuously bear false claims, supported by 90% of a leftist liberal complicit media, that provides funds to one political affiliation, we fail.

When we make critical decisions and avoid critical thinking based not on fact or honest reason but rather feelings and emotions, we fail.

There is a reason the press has a lower approval rating than Congress and the their ratings were never lower...   

John Forbes
John Forbes

John Looman, purposeful ignorance is no excuse. The MAGA slogan has been co-opted by racists that Trump refuses to condemn (Very fine people). The outrage directed at this teachers decision would be better directed at the current administrations failure to accomplish anything they’ve set out to do. Their legislative record is vacant.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

The swamp is still needing a draining but it keeps resisting and investigating itself...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5ME3PdRayA


Did you know that the unemployment rate has dropped to decades level lows not since Nixon has unemployment fell to such low levels. 


The real question is why your "news" source omitted to inform their subscribers of this critical information and what else are they not telling you???

JB-
JB-

The emailer called himself and con extremists "rabid dogs." Sounds about right.

John Looman
John Looman

So now the phrase "Make America Great Again" is offensive?

Maliha Haider-Bardill
Maliha Haider-Bardill

Yes. "When Donald Trump kicked off his campaign with “Make America Great Again,” every person in the country knew the coded message he was selling: Let’s get back to a time when queers were in the closets, segregation ruled public spaces, poor people were victims of their own failings, and moreover, white men determined the course of the country." (http://www.vidaweb.org/the-2016-vida-count/)

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Actually, the message is primarily economic and focused on taking care of our own Nation as a priority first and foremost, ensuring we are strong as a Nation moving forward.

To most people who supported Trump, those that I know, that message doesn't advocate excluding or oppressing anyone.

We have a political divide and cultural war in this country, on top of exacerbated racial tensions among certain segments of society. Blaming the situation on people who are trying to improve it is a non-starter and divisive.

gapeach101
gapeach101

That's what it means, if you didn't hear the dog whistle.

bu22
bu22

@gapeach101  No, you just imagine you can hear dog whistles because you have been brainwashed by years of DNC propaganda who still don't understand why they keep losing.  Latest excuse is that the Russians spent a million dollars.  Pretty sad commentary on the Democrats if the Russians can do more with a million than Hillary did with her 1.2 billion while Trump spent half that.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

Yep, and you are a neo-nazi, racist, Islamophobe if you voted Trump...

John Looman
John Looman

Well, that is not what I think, so that is one person who did not receive the code. I doubt that I am alone. You know, there are fair minded people out there that disagree with you who do not assume every utterance by Trump is race-baiting.

Maliha Haider-Bardill
Maliha Haider-Bardill

You're right, his words and actions are not all racism; there's also misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc, etc.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@DawgDadII 

Now don't be disagreeing with the ministry of truth's interpretation of what MAGA means.  Nor go on the interpretation of most of America.


A minority Democrat/Socialist interpretation is the correct "right think".


There has been a war on America and our constitution for quite a long time and as long as the people remain divided and in-fighting they will continue to make tactical achievements. 


What many failed to observe is the previous administration's campaign slogan "Hope and Change" is the same slogan used by a socialist dictator who once was a Californian Community Organizer. In just 12 years be destroyed a once prosperous nation.

And we had a junior Illinois senator who was a former or still is a Chicago Community Organizer...

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@bu22 @gapeach101 

bu22 that's interesting you actually bring up the dollar amount because CNN, MSNBC etc. won't. 

A million dollars worth of adds destroyed Hitlery's bid for presidency seems like a wise investment.

I mean that's why she lost? It couldn't possibly be she was a pathological liar, human tax tick and a horrible candidate...

Perhaps the real Russian collusion will come to bear fruit in a non-protective administration, save some hold overs:   http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-20/emails-reveal-bill-clinton-sought-meetings-key-russian-nuclear-officials-just-uraniu

Mike Gates
Mike Gates

Maliha Haider-Bardill you literally voted for woman whose husband preyed on multiple women. She ruined lives to protect him and their career. I'm not going to judge persons lifestyle but marriage is between man and woman. Nothing homophobia about it. To say we're going to limit immigrants from specific countries that were proven to support or aid terrorism is not racist. That's protecting us from more 9-11 attacks. At this point some of those countries don't have govt in place to even provide basic background information about its citizens.

weetamoe
weetamoe

Her superstitious hasty connection between a T-shirt slogan and Nazis reveals a distressing lack of critical thinking skills--in a math teacher, especially.  

And how did a purely local story make its way all the way to Oregon?

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@weetamoe The parent who had the cellphone video released it  to a conservative website that was national.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@MaureenDowney @weetamoe 

That's horribly oh so horrible. Leftism is imploding upon itself and the internet has red pilled far too many sleepers. Now the social media groups must enforce right thinking... And have taken the steps to enforce it.

class80olddog
class80olddog

So no one will address this question: what if some black students had worn Black Lives Matter t-shirts and some white students complained and the teacher asked them to turn the shirts around, even though they are not violating school dress code? What kind of uproar would there have been? Riots? Lootings? Burnings? Good riddance for this teacher. She needs to go to Decatur.

Astropig
Astropig

@class80olddog

"So no one will address this question: what if some black students had worn Black Lives Matter t-shirts and some white students complained and the teacher asked them to turn the shirts around, even though they are not violating school dress code? "


Your question deserves a serious answer.Here it is:


It would have been the same frenzy that we've seen here,with the primary players changing sides.The people defending the teacher would have called for her firing and verse vicea. Politicizing everything under the sun causes that to happen.Every public policy disagreement becomes a winner-take-all death match.


This space has gone to great pains to point out that Cherokee County voted for Donald Trump last fall.You're supposed to infer that that means that they are unreasonable partisans there.But- you've  never seen a BLM or MLK or "I'm with Her" t-shirt wearer being singled out and humiliated over the years in their schools.Maybe because the people in CC walk the tolerance walk and don't just claim it when its politically advantageous.


Starik
Starik

@Astropig @class80olddog  Well, no. No kid in his or her right mind would wear a "librul" shirt in a redneck school in Cherokee County. Lots of tea party types there. 

gapeach101
gapeach101

Any school should be thrilled to have this teacher.

kay_
kay_

This woman keeps changing her story. But the bottom line is that she wouldn't leave her personal politics at the classroom door.

redweather
redweather

@kay_ Sounds like you've been reading too much WorldNetDaily.

jezel-dog / Coach - me
jezel-dog / Coach - me

Maureen I hope you will write an article or two on how Russian active measures are being used to racially divide our country.


This is a blog on education and would be a great place to educate Americans on the dangers our free press is facing.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Our press is free and people should understand that anyone can make a post. Use your own brain. Nobody voted for Trump because of what Russians said.

JohnGMorris
JohnGMorris

Thus far it appears that the Russians spent less than one million dollars on advertising in an election where billions of dollars were spent on advertising.  Their million dollars had no impact  on the past election.  That said, the current discord makes us all too susceptible to advertising intended to polarize and divide. We are all too eager to accept statements that confirm our beliefs and dismiss those that challenge them.  We have no one to blame but ourselves if fake news and its like is effective tool for manipulating the electorate.

jezel-dog / Coach - me
jezel-dog / Coach - me

@JohnGMorris


In total, 250 people were employed, with 90 dedicated trolls working on the US election campaign at its peak.


The impact ?....think the jury is still out.


Do know that Facebook purged the actual ads....why I do not know.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@jezel-dog / Coach - me @HypnotistMonkey @class80olddog 

Who fact checks the fact checkers and are there any inherent biases?

And yes it's fairly common knowledge that HuffPo, WaPo etc. use fact checkers that lean away from neutral. 

Understand the most common tactic utilized is not out right lies but rather lies of omission. 


So, with every article you read consider it possible that you are being lied to in order to mold public perception to support an agenda.


Who funds the fact checkers and who benefits? Southern Poverty Law Center was the previous federal administrations "fact checker" for selecting who are "hate groups".


Now consider why the fed no longer uses them and what was the justification?