FOSTER, W.Va. – A Boone County, West Virginia teacher is fighting back against public outrage over a jacket she wore in class and at a school board meeting with a patch that read, “Tuck Frump.”
A student took a picture of Sherman Junior High School art teacher and local union official Cheryl Judy posing with her creation in her classroom and posted the image to social media, and it exploded from there, the West Virginia Gazette-Mail reports.
The denim jacket includes a large patch stretching across the back between the shoulders with the phrase “Tuck Frump” – the first word in white and the second in black, with the letters “T” and “F” transposed.
Boone County parent Howard Kirk told WBOY it’s “very inappropriate for a teacher to wear that to school or anywhere else for that matter.”
“She’s a public employee so her opinion of Trump, while she’s at work or at a public function, she’s speaking for Boone County Schools,” he said.
Braxton Harless, one of Judy’s students, agreed.
“I just know if I wore something like that I would get suspended pretty bad,” he said. “We’ve talked about politics more in her class than a lot of others, but I just know she does not support Trump whatsoever.”
Judy, a veteran teacher and secretary of the Boone County branch of the American Federation of Teachers, acknowledged she tried on the jacket at school, but alleged it was after class during her planning period and blamed the controversy on a “like minded student” who posted the image online.
She alleged she only showed the jacket to students in the classroom working on art projects to ensure the patch was straight.
“First, yes, I did wear that jacket to school, sans the patch on the back. I took the patch with me so that I could pin it onto the jacket before I left school. This was on Thursday,” Judy wrote in a statement to WBOY.
“Since I had a little time before school was out to pin the patch on the jacket, so I did. I tried it on to make sure that the patch was straight. I only had it on for less than two minutes. A like minded student snapped a photo and shared it on social media without my permission,” she wrote. “This has gotten so blown out of proportion that it is unreal. I never intended for this to happen. I did not put the jacket back on and made sure that the patch was not exposed until I was well away from the school. People think that I flaunted the jacket at school. I did not. I am a very liberal person but I never force my liberalism on others and never would.”
The Gazette-Mail points out the “Tuck Frump” message is also posted to Judy’s public Facebook page, and she wore her hand-crafted jacket to Thursday’s Boone County school board meeting.
According to the news site:
She’s also one of the two Boone public school employees who last month filed what they’re requesting be a class-action lawsuit alleging that their paycheck deductions didn’t properly go toward paying for requested supplemental retirement and supplemental insurance coverage. The Boone school board and Boone schools Superintendent Jeff Huffman are among those Judy is suing.
Huffman would not discuss what, if anything, the officials plan to do about Judy’s anti-Trump activism at school, but said he will launch an investigation into the incident after Spring Break concludes this week.
“We expect professionalism with both conduct and appearance,” he told WSAZ on Monday. “It seems to have caused … a great amount of concern from around the area and around the nation, as we’ve received multiple phone calls today.”
In the meantime, many parents are calling for the teacher’s termination.
“I don’t want to lose my job. I want to teach my students, but if I have to, I have to,” Judy said. “It’s just a shame that students are going to be losing someone they care about and really cares about them, each and every one of them.”
Others seem to think a lesser punishment is more fitting.
“It’s maybe something that isn’t 100 percent appropriate, but at the same token, I don’t think she should lose her job over it,” parent Lori Selbe said.