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. (AJC Erica Hernandez)
Photo: Erica Hernandez / AJC/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Erica Hernandez / AJC/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Protest planned to demand dismissal of teacher who said students couldn’t wear Trump shirts in class

A Republican candidate for governor plans to host a protest at River Ridge High School after fall break, his campaign said Monday. 

Michael Williams said in a statement that he is upset about, “the administration’s refusal to fire liberal activist teacher, Lyn Orletsky.”

Orletsky is on paid administrative leave following an incident in class where a student recorded her saying T-shirts with “Make America Great Again” were the equivalent of wearing a swastika, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

MORE: Teacher who compared Trump slogan to swastika no longer in classroom

The school district quickly apologized after the Aug. 31 incident and said while disciplinary action against Orletsky wouldn’t be disclosed, the students weren’t in trouble.

Orletsky told The AJC her motivation was not political, but rather based on the fact that, two weeks earlier, white supremacists and Neo Nazis adopted “Make America Great Again” as their rallying cry in Charlottesville, Va. 

Cherokee teacher: Why I objected to ‘Make America Great Again’ shirts in class

Williams said in his statement he believes the school is trying to deceive people by saying Orletsky has been “removed,” from class and said the math teacher is being moved 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.'”

Seth Weathers, Williams’ spokesman, said Williams was angry that he couldn’t get a comment from school officials about Orletsky’s employment status.

“They are trying to let this blow over with her getting paid to sit home and then bring her back to another class,” Weathers told The AJC. “When asked if they are considering any disciplinary action, they again refused to comment.”
The protest is expected to take place outside River Ridge High School at noon Sept. 27. The school is located at 400 Arnold Mill Road in Woodstock.

Know what’s really going on with crime and public safety in your metro Atlanta community, including breaking news, trial coverage, trends and the latest on unsolved cases. Sign up for the AJC’s crime and safety newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.

Lyn Orletsky was seen on a viral video telling at least two River Ridge High School students that wearing the slogan made popular by President Donald Trump was like wearing a swastika. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.