Romney T-Shirt Girl Leaves School - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Romney T-Shirt Girl Leaves School

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Northeast Philadelphia -

She made national headlines after saying her teacher bullied her for wearing a T-shirt supporting Mitt Romney.  Now there's another twist to the saga.

Charles Carroll High School student Samantha Pawlucy returned to class Tuesday after a week's absence.  But she says it didn't go well, so she won't be going back.

There are two versions of what happened at school Tuesday:  one from the Philadelphia School District, and one from the Pawlucy family.  The Pawlucys say they negotiated a resolution, with help from the mayor and the school district superintendent.  But they say that's not what they got when Samantha arrived at school.  She got a hero's welcome, as military veterans saluted her, serenaded her, and held up signs supporting her.  But once inside the building, Pawlucy told her family it went downhill quickly, when she heard taunts from other students.  "Actually when she was in the principal's office they tried to, they were coming in the office and they were saying things like you know, they want to get her, they want to beat her up, things like that," Samantha's father Richard told Fox 29.  "So they locked her in the principal's office."

The trouble started September 28th, when the 16-year-old high school sophomore wore a Romney-Ryan T-shirt to school, in support of the Republican presidential ticket.  She says her math teacher belittled her, insisting Charles Carroll High was a Democratic school in a Democratic town.  "She took a red marker tried to draw on it and then she told me to take off my shirt and she would give me a different one," Samantha Pawlucy told Fox 29 last week.

After Pawlucy went public, Mayor Nutter and the school district superintendent intervened.  The family says they all reached an agreement:  the teacher, Lynette Gaymon, would make a public apology Tuesday before the student body.  "Miss Gaymon is a very popular teacher, and if it came from her directly to all the students that it was all her fault, then Samantha would feel that nobody would try to intimidate her or try to start a fight in school with her," Richard Pawlucy explained.

Pawlucy's dad showed Fox 29 two letters he says are from the teacher, one written directly to his daughter, the other read to the students.  "It's two different tones," he insisted.  "One is taking full responsibility.  It says right here, I used bad judgment, and this one there's nothing like that."  So Samantha Pawlucy's first day back at school turned out to be her last day there.  "She said come and get me dad, I want to leave right now," Richard Pawlucy said.

Philadelphia School District Spokesperson Fernando Gallard told Fox 29 he was there at the principal's office Tuesday morning, and he says he never heard anyone threaten Samantha Pawlucy.  He also said the teacher was never supposed to read her own apology to the students, but she agreed to after the Pawlucys insisted.  As for Samantha's immediate future, Gallard says the school district will help her transfer to another school, if she decides to stay in the district.

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