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Philadelphia School District Issues Statement On Romney T-Shirt Controversy

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The School District of Philadelphia has issued a statement on a recent incident that spurned controversy.

Sam Pawlucy, a 16-year-old sophomore at Charles Carroll High School in Port Richmond, was allegedly removed from geometry class because she was wearing a Romney-Ryan campaign shirt (see previous story).

“First she told me to get out of class, then I say, ‘no,’ and she goes in the hallway and she says, ‘This girl is wearing a Romney-Ryan shirt,’” said Sam.

She says the teacher called in an assistant, who pretended to draw on the shirt with a marker then demanded she take it off, saying, “This is a Democratic school.”

The teacher, who is African American, allegedly implied Sam was uninformed, likening it to the KKK.

The teacher at the center of the incident was temporarily reassigned.

Now, the school district’s Director of Communications, Fernando Gallard, issued this written statement, which reads:

“The Carroll High School community – students, teachers, administrators, parents and neighbors – recently has been pulled into an argument that drove a wedge between families, friends and classmates. This has been disruptive and hurtful for a school whose success is drawn from its diverse and close-knit student body. And it has been particularly distressing to the Pawlucy family, whose daughter was targeted for simply expressing herself by wearing a t-shirt.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will join Mayor Michael Nutter and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan in working directly with the Carroll High School community to assist them in moving away from a divisive and damaging discourse towards a conversation that brings together diverse beliefs, inspires understanding, and heals.

Our efforts will not take away from the hard lesson learned when an educator acts thoughtlessly. We all concur that there is no room for that type of behavior from adults, especially in a classroom.

We will also support and stand by Samantha Pawlucy, Lynette Gaymon and all of the children and adults who have become targets of hatred and venom by individuals who demand that a wrong be righted with another wrong. There is no room in our community for that type of behavior and we will not let it take root in our schools.

Going forward, both as a school community and a City, we will celebrate, embrace and respect our differences and learn and grow from this teachable moment.”

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