CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — A high school teacher is on leave after an incident involving President Donald Trump T-shirts.
The incident happened in August at River Ridge High School in Woodstock in Cherokee County.
Turning Point, a nonprofit conservative group, obtained cellphone video and shared it with Channel 2 Action News.
The video shows math teacher Lyn Orletsky telling students they need to turn their “Make America Great Again” T-shirts inside-out.
"I was concerned about all my students' comfort in that class," she said.
The teacher said she was trying to maintain an orderly classroom and was concerned the T-shirts' slogan could cause some discomfort, particularly after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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"The whole 'Make America Great Again' slogan was really hijacked by a lot of hate groups," Orletsky said.
She insists her decision had nothing to do with politics.
"I explained to them, 'Support your president. That's great. It's fine to have a President Trump T-shirt," she said. "I never had any intentions of it being political at all. I care about my students and I want them to feel safe and comfortable," she said.
Video of the incident has gone viral and Orletsky said she's received death threats that the sheriff's office is investigating.
"I have gotten hundreds of hate mails for simply trying to make my classroom a safe environment for all my students," she said.
An online petition calling for her resignation has received more than 1,100 signatures. Orletsky said she's also received a lot of support and that's giving her strength.
"It's just a sad situation. I just want to teach,' she said.
The school's principal sent a letter to parents saying Orletsky was no longer in the classroom, but a school district spokesperson would not elaborate.
Cox Media Group