Supporters of Mitt Romney are still feeling the burn after their guy took a royal whomping in November's presidential election. Indeed many are using their campaign t-shirts as grease rags and "chore clothes." But not Samantha Pawlucy. She's aiming to get the value of that shirt back, and then some, in the form of a lawsuit against her school. The teen's family is claiming she suffered emotional damage after a teacher made remarks to her regarding her choice of political apparel.
Right now political pundits are eating this story up, and no doubt Miss Pawlucy is a sort of teen hero in the eyes of the conservatives who are tasting sour grapes a month after the election. Nonetheless, the details of this story do need attention, but not for "political" reasons.
Geometry teacher Lynette Gaymon supposedly mocked the teenager over a t-shirt she wore in class that advertised her support for the Romney-Ryan ticket. She allegedly compared the teen's campaign shirt to a "KKK outfit." The teen also claims that the teacher told her to take the shirt off and that she was "at a democratic school." She also claims the teacher encouraged other students to make fun of the shirt. While it's arguable as to whether or not the teen is telling the truth, the teacher apologized under the order of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers as well as the encouragement of a school district official. So this action alone may lead to the teen's lawsuit being a success.
If the teacher truly did these things, then yes she deserves to be punished. In no way is it acceptable for a teacher to publicly target and ridicule one of their students, and it is deplorable for a teacher to encourage other students to take part in the ridiculeÂ—especially in an era of anti-bullying agendas and the like. This has nothing to do with some imaginary "liberals versus conservatives" feud. If this teen's First Amendment rights were violated, then she deserves to have her day in court.
However, this story doesn't seem to be as much about a student being bullied by a teacher, as much as it has become a story about a mean liberal teacher oppressing a so-called conservative student. Those who are making this case about that simply have their own agendas and sour grapes. It's also being inflamed by the fact that the girl's family, who are supporters of the failed conservative presidential hopeful, was contacted by Mittens himselfÂ—and he thanked them for their support. So yes, it does seem that this lawsuit is being fueled by political contemptÂ—especially since the teacher in question claims that she never did anything out of spite.
No word yet from the Pawlucy family on whether or not they, including Samantha, find it ironic that as conservatives they are aiming to cash in big off the taxpayer dollars that fund the school they are suing. Instead of suing the single individual who they claim violated the teen's First Amendment rights, they are in turn targeting the schoolÂ—because no doubt the large amount of taxpayer dollars amount to more than what the teacher has, right? The political undertones of this case are indeed unfairÂ—so unfair that an entire school is going to suffer the consequences of something that may or may not have even happened.
Crime analyst, profiler & future criminologist Chelsea Hoffman can be found on Huffington Post or Chelsea Hoffman: Case to Case. You can follow her on Twitter @TheRealChelseaH or contact her via her personal blog. Fan the Facebook page for updates on missing persons cases, issues in civil rights and details on Chelsea's fiction works.