ROXBURY, NJ - A T-shirt that bore an image of President Donald Trump and the words "NOPE" and "Vive la Rêsistance" was hung in a Roxbury High School classroom but later removed after word spread on social media.
A photo of the shirt was taken by a student and shared with Succasunna resident Laurel Whitney, who posted it Sunday on a private Facebook page dedicated to Roxbury education issues. "What do you all think about this hanging in a classroom in RHS?" Whitney asked on the page. "I thought teachers were supposed to refrain from imposing their political views on students?"
The post by Whitney, who has challenged the district over other politically charges issues such as a history textbook she claimed whitewashed Islam, resulted in a comments by about 25 members of the Facebook group, many of whom took issue with the shirt being displayed, asserting it amounted to indoctrination.
Whitney said she told a Roxbury School Board member about the shirt and was told it would be brought up at Monday's board meeting. The matter was not discussed in public at the meeting.
In an interview afterward, board president Leo Coakley said the issue was handled in executive session prior to the public portion of the meeting. He said the topic qualified for behind-closed-door discussion because it was a personnel matter.
Roxbury Schools Superintendent Loretta Radulic, also interviewed after the board meeting, said the shirt was given to the teacher by a student. She said it was taken down Monday.
Although some parents on the Facebook page suggested the hanging of the T-shirt would be more appropriate if it was part of a larger display of diverse political messages, Radulic said it was not. However, she insisted the teacher was not engaging in political indoctrination by allowing its display.