Teacher in T-shirt case reads letter at assembly

Posted: October 10, 2012

Within hours of Samantha Pawlucy's return to Charles Carroll High School, the teacher she said publicly humiliated her over a Romney T-shirt returned as well, reading from a letter at a brief assembly.

Lynette Gaymon, Pawlucy's former geometry teacher, visited the school Tuesday morning, the district's spokesperson confirmed.

The teacher read from a letter she wrote, originally distributed to teachers with the intention of having it read aloud to students, a person attending the assembly said.

Instead, the teacher came to the Port Richmond school to personally address students.

"What I meant as a light and humorous remark during class has developed into a huge conflict between students, faculty, parents and neighbors," the letter reads. "I truly regret that we have come to this point."

In the letter, Gaymon writes of her support for free expression and calls for civility in response to reported harassment and threats aimed at Pawlucy.

"I'm very disturbed by the negative and hateful words and messages that have been directed at Sam Pawlucy. The bullying of Sam-on Facebook, Twitter, or otherwise-has to stop," the letter reads.

The assembly took place shortly after the start of the school day, when a rally was held to support Pawlucy on her first day back at the school.

The sixteen-year-old sophomore has stayed out of school since Oct. 3, according to a statement from the Pawlucy family. Gaymon, who was transferred out of Pawlucy's geometery class, has also remained away from the school. One of her aunts said the family is concerned for Gaymon's safety. The aunt, who lives with Gaymon, said Gaymon will not return to school until the family decides she can do so safely.

The Gaymon family has reported getting a phone call that threatened them. They said they reported that threat, as well as other harassing phone calls, to police.

The Pawlucy family has also reported hearing of threats and harassment, and students shouted obscenities from school windows when they visited last Friday.

Pawlucy's father Richard said the student does not want the teacher fired, but also does not want to be in her class.

The assembly was held shortly after the start of school. A rally on the sidewalk in front of the school was held beginning at 7:45 to support Pawlucy's return, with around two dozen people holding flags, singing the national anthem, and shouting to support Pawlucy. Pawlucy read the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, and the group also recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang "God Bless America."

Contact Jonathan Lai at 215-854-2771, jlai@philly.com, or on Twitter @elaijuh.

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