Mullica Teacher Fights For Job After Reporting Incident Involving 2 Kindergarten Students
By Todd Quinones
MULLICA Twp., N.J., (CBS) — The exact details of what happened are being disputed.
According to documents released Wednesday night two kindergarten students at Mullica Township Elementary School were in the bathroom together, naked and touch each other’s private parts.
The Mullica Township School Board voted 8 to 1 to dismiss kindergarten teacher Kelly Mascio.
The district claims Mascio failed to properly supervise two five-year-old students who entered a single bathroom in the back of her classroom during class and that the boy and girl were in the bathroom together for five minutes unsupervised.
Documents indicate the children indicate they removed their clothes and touched each other’s private parts and said they ‘wanted to have sex.’
“This board examined all the facts. We asked tough questions about the matter brought before it, as we do all matters,” Mullica Township School District Superintendent Brenda Harring-Marro said.
More than a 100 people came out to Wednesday night’s school board meeting. The vast majority came to support Mascio who’s been teaching here for 16 years.
“I have 100% support and acknowledge she did the best thing in this situation,” parent Kim Johnson said.
“If it’s that bad, why didn’t the police department do something, why didn’t DYFUS do something? What was so bad that they are saying deserves this harsh punishment?” parent Hope Cheatham said.
Mascio and her lawyer were not at the meeting.
Her union representative disputes the board’s findings saying Mascio’s suspension isn’t justified.
“Ms. Mascio reported she found the students and when they were questioned, they said ‘they were having sex,’” Mullica Township Education Association President, Barbara Rheault said.
The incident happened on September 30th.
Mascio has been suspended with pay since then.
In a written statement she says the students were not naked.
“Ms. Mascio reported the only thing wrong that she noticed was that the one child had a shirt on backwards, not inside out, but backwards. The children were fully clothed shoelaces tied,” Rheault said.
The union claims Mascio immediately reported the incident to school officials and followed all the proper protocols.
The entire matter has been forwarded to The New Jersey Department of Education, which could assign an arbiter to decide the outcome of Mascio’s employment.