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By Barry Burch Jr.
Do not shoot the messenger.
A kindergarten teacher in New Jersey was surprised to find two students, naked in the bathroom together. She was even more surprised to find out that she would be risking termination for reporting it immediately to the principal. Fellow teachers and residents in Mullica Township are doing what they can to prevent this from happening.
The incident, which took place on September 30, 2013, involved a teacher of 15 years at the Mullica Township school, Kelly Mascio, and two five-year-olds. Mascio found the two children naked together in a bathroom. Upon discovering them, the young students told Mascio that they were “having $evx.” The teacher immediately informed the principal of what she had seen, as reported by Opposing Views.
Not long after the incident, Mascio was put on suspension without pay. Despite a police investigation, which was completed early on, that determined there was no wrongdoing on the teacher’s part, the Superintendent Brenda Harring-Marro just recently announced her filing of tenure charges against her.
“Our main concern is that the administration has completely forgone all traditional disciplinary avenues available in handling the incident,” said Mullica Township Education Association President Barbara Rheault. “The administration has selected a disciplinary route that has resulted in enormous emotional and professional turmoil, and has strained the confidence and trust of school staff, parents and community members.”
Rheault is right. There are parents and fellow teachers very angry at the fact that Mascio has been fired. They believe her to have been doing exactly what she was supposed to be doing when she found the children. When the board of education met recently to decide if it was within their power to fire Mascio for what she did, 200 of the teacher’s supporters were in attendance.
Ever since The Press of Atlantic City reported the story, it has been all over social media. One person on Facebook questions, “Did I miss something? She finds a naked girl and boy in the bathroom who say they are having sexx, she tells the principal and now she may lose her job???? What part am I misunderstanding because that makes no sense.”
Others on Facebook believe it is the parents who are deserving of all the negative attention.
“Geez. I wonder what these parents are letting their children see at home,” one person commented. “Also could be a sign of $exual abuse. Poor teacher.”
Mascio has not made any comments with regard to the incident and there is still no official word on whether or not she will be fired.
Barry is an award-winning writer and political scientist. His business, “Barry Writes,” provides biographies, speeches, press releases and so forth to individuals and businesses in need of potent and compelling literature. Reach him @ Facebook.com/barrywrites and Twitter.com/barryburchjr
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