Remember those big hoodie sweatshirts from Gap that were big in the 90s? The one’s that were all different colors and said “GAP” real big on the front? Well, I got one for my birthday one year. I looked just like everyone else who was cool and it was awesome. So, when my little sister found it in my room and started coloring on it with permanent marker, you could imagine my distress. I was hysterical. I’m pretty sure I remember asking my mom if we could just put my sister up for adoption. And that, my friends, is called an over-reaction.
Speaking of over-reactions, the Pawlucy family is making headlines for suing their daughter’s teacher. Most high school students only daydream of suing their teachers, but that daydream is a reality for 16-year-old Samantha. Her parents are in the process of suing her teacher and the school district.
The family claimed that when Samantha wore a Mitt Romney t-shirt to school, her geometry teacher made fun of her, asking her why she was wearing it and then calling other students into the room to come and laugh at her.
So, they’re suing.
Let me say one thing before I go on. There is no excuse for a teacher humiliating a student. Teachers are called to lead, instruct, and encourage. The thought of a teacher tearing a student down and asking others to join in on the ridicule is terrible. Also, I’m sad about this as a fellow-Romney supporter. It is really sad that the culture of our country is so hostile toward people that think differently than they do. That being said, I wasn’t there, but it seems to me like this situation got blown a little out of proportion.
This kind of situation needed to be handled within the school itself. Reprimand, fire the teacher, whatever. But, don’t waste government money and resources on hurt feelings when we should be using our country’s court system on actual criminal cases- people who are dangerous, not people who made a distasteful joke.
Could you imagine being sued for poking fun at someone? We’d all be broke! This kind of thing is very subjective because there’s a big difference between a lighthearted tease that embarrassed a sensitive person and malicious harassment. If this girl was being verbally abused by her teacher, that’s another story. But, based on the facts we know from the lawsuit, it doesn’t sound like the teacher intended any harm. When I was in high school, my favorite teachers were the snarky ones. It’s a fine line. Besides, wearing a political t-shirt or bumper sticker is kind of asking for it. I’m all for speaking out and standing up for what you believe in (I was one click away from getting a Romney/Ryan iPhone case), but you’ve got to be prepared for some backlash if you’re going to flaunt your politics – especially in high school, an institution full of the cruelest, meanest people you’ll ever have in your life. Anyone seen the movie, Mean Girls? It’s the truth.
It’s a well-known fact that politics and religion get people all riled up. So, if this girl is a sensitive-type, and knows she can’t handle people throwin’ it back at her, she shouldn’t be wearing controversial, button-pushing t-shirts. Right? We all need to stand for what we believe in, but with that, we’ve got to be prepared to encounter people who don’t agree with us.
I do realize that my marred Gap sweatshirt isn’t the worthiest comparison to young Samantha’s embarrassment. It is sad to me that a student can’t feel emotionally safe and protected by her own teacher who she looks up to. That is a shame. And, I do feel sorry that this happened to her. I think the teacher should have gotten in trouble. If I had a daughter that was humiliated by her teacher, I would be upset too. But, I wouldn’t take it to the courts. That’s all I’m sayin’.
What’s your opinion?