Lynette Gaymon’s Non-Apology Apology

by Christopher Paslay

Lynette Gaymon’s letter takes no responsibility for her actions, and contains no apology to Samantha Pawlucy. 

As a fellow Philadelphia public school teacher, I am disappointed by Lynette Gaymon’s handling of the Samantha Pawlucy incident.  Regardless of how events unfolded that day in her class (Gaymon is not denying the fundamental facts), what Gaymon labels a “light and humorous remark” is nothing of the sort.  From her “apology letter” it seems clear that Gaymon still doesn’t understand that her comments were grossly inappropriate.

Gaymon states in her letter:

My words were never meant to belittle Ms. Pawlucy, or cause any harm, and I truly regret that we have come to this point.

That might be true, but Gaymon doesn’t state that she truly regrets saying these words.  Just as Gaymon never once in her letter says I’m sorry Samantha; incredibly, the “apology letter” isn’t even addressed to Samantha, but to the students of Carroll High School whom she calls “my babies.”

I don’t think I’m being unfair to Gaymon.  There is a fundamental lack of personal responsibility in her letter, and nowhere in the letter does Gaymon admit wrongdoing.  In fact, it almost seems as if Gaymon still believes that “all the chaos and negative attention” that has fallen on the school is the result of some sort of misunderstanding.

Again, Gaymon never comes out in the letter and says I’m sorry Samantha.  I’m sorry for making fun of something that was important to you, for making a joke that spun out of control, for unintentionally humiliating and embarrassing you in front of your classmates and other teachers.  I didn’t mean it Samantha, and I am sorry.

Nor does Gaymon apologize for stereotyping an entire group of people in front her students: She never says, I’m sorry that I equated all Republicans with racists.  I’m sorry that I used a hate symbol—the KKK—as a reference to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  This was unwarranted.  Although we all may not agree with Republican policies, it’s hateful and intolerant to stereotype whole groups of people.

To her credit, Gaymon does call for solving problems civilly through debate and discussion, and she does call for a stop to the threats and violence being perpetrated against Samantha Pawlucy.

But Gaymon’s letter is hardly an apology to Samantha Pawlucy herself, and falls short of taking responsibility for the situation.  Its vagueness and avoidance of the fundamental issues of stereotyping and intolerance are similar to the ways in which the local Philadelphia media dodged these same issues.  Because of this, I truly wonder if Lynette Gaymon even knows that what she said was wrong, or if she just feels it was all a simple misunderstanding.  If it’s the latter, Lynette Gaymon is unfit to be in the classroom.

To read Gaymon’s letter in its entirety, click here.

Update:  Wally Zimolong, the attorney for the Pawlucy family, stated this morning on the Dom Giordano show that Lynette Gaymon was ready to give a personal apology to Samantha Pawlucy and accept wrong doing, but was given a prepared statement instead.  Click here to listen to the interview.

10 thoughts on “Lynette Gaymon’s Non-Apology Apology

  1. Gaymon’s apology letter was not her original letter. The Pawlucy’s attorney was on the Dom Giordano show this morning. Seems the the PFT leadership didn’t like Gaymon’s apology letter and substituted the one that was read.

    • If this teacher was a student you could accept that the big powerful PFT made her do it, but as an adult, Gaymon bears all the burden of guilt and consequence. The PFT didn’t ‘make’ her do anything. She most probably sought their help and gladly followed the PFT’s suggestions hoping they would save her inept and immature arse. If it weren’t for double standards Gaymon and the PFT wouldn’t have any.

  2. I would classify the shameful behavior as bullying by the teacher. She intimidated her student. That is the definition of bullying. That is what the union must address.

  3. Disciplinary action should be taken against Ms. Gaymon. Hope Moffett was rubber-roomed for far less, merely speaking out against the SDP. Ms. Gaymon crossed the line by intimidating/bullying a student. A suspension without pay and mandatory sensitivity training are in order, if not dismissal, depending on due process. The question to ask is, “Would you want Lynette Gaymon as your child’s teacher?”

  4. I agree. If the SDP does not reprimand, suspend, dismiss this teacher then they are clearly making a racial favoritism statement.( i.e. the treatment of Hope Moffett) Some are “allowed” to do whatever they wish, and some are not??? I hope that the new Superintendent can LEAD by example and treat this situation as any well meaning, educated Administrator would treat it.
    He needs to set the TONE right away so people will know the consequences…

  5. I dread to think about that poor girl if Obama wins . The ridicule which was “allowed” by her teacher will then be followed in the entire school??
    I ( hoping he doesn’t mind I use this) pray that Dr. Hite, as the NEW SUPERINTENDENT, will finally make an impact on the reverse racism that is the SDP. Yes, I said it folks!!! . If we are to function as this large district, we MUST work together and CELEBRATE OUR DIFFERENCES, NOT SEGREGATE THEM!!! The students in Philadelphia will do much better in the GLOBAL economy, if they see it as GLOBAL…not just as their street or neighborhood. We are ALL VALUABLE, and in AMERICA, FREE to speak our minds…Thanks to people like John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King and others…I have worked with all kinds of people and we all have something special to contriblute. This teacher must unfortunately become an example of what will NOT BE TOLERATED and ALSO THE NTA who wanted to write on her shirt with a MARKER.

    Just think if it were your child…black, white, yellow, brown, pink, purple…HUMILATION AND EMBARASSMENT ARE ALL THE SAME. Won’t we ALL be shocked if Romney / Ryan wins??? While you are all complaining…are you registered? ready? knowledgeable? voters?

    I just hope that we can learn from this and I wish Dr. Hite a strong will for this decision, because he then will set the tone. Because the tone as it has been..has been against some for a long time!!!! ” Keeping it Real” 🙂

  6. The Philadelphia School District is hiring now to fill vacant positions. Check the vacancy list. Dual certified special education teachers (LS/Eng) needed NOW!

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