A Republican candidate for governor in Georgia is planning to hold a protest to demand that a school district fire a teacher who compared President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan to a swastika.
State Sen. Michael Williams (R-Cumming), who launched a 2018 gubernatorial bid in June, will host the protest outside River Ridge High School in Woodstock to demand that the school district fire teacher Lyn Orletsky, his campaign announced Monday.
Williams told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he is upset with the district’s “refusal to fire liberal activist teacher, Lyn Orletsky.”
Orletsky, who taught math at River Ridge High School for five years, was caught on camera kicking two of her students out of the classroom for wearing shirts bearing Trump’s signature slogan.
She said that wearing the slogan, “Make America Great Again,” was equivalent to wearing a swastika.
“Just like you cannot wear a swastika to school, you cannot wear ‘Make America Great Again’ like that,” the teacher told the students.
Orletsky claimed that she did not ask the students to remove their shirts for political reasons but merely wanted to ensure minority students would not feel threatened.
“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. I want everybody in that classroom to feel they are respected, and each should have their dignity,” she said.
Although Orletsky has been stripped of her teaching duties, she is currently on paid administrative leave and has not been fired from her position.
The school district apologized for the incident and stressed the students involved were not in trouble. School officials did not comment on any potential disciplinary action against Orletsky, citing personnel matters.
Williams said that school officials tried to deceive people when they sent out a letter saying Orletsky had been “removed” from her classroom and claimed that school administrators are moving her to another classroom.
“Principal Darrell Herring is supporting the suppression of free speech by refusing to publicly address and fire this out of control teacher,” Williams said. “He has placed political correctness above his students.’”
Williams plans for the protest to take place at noon on September 27 outside River Ridge High School, located at 400 Arnold Mill Road in Woodstock.