The South Jersey kindergarten teacher who stumbled across two of her pupils naked and “having sex” in a bathroom was suspended for supposedly failing to supervise the students, a teachers’ union official said Monday.
But Kelly Mascio “acted in a professional manner and responsibly reported the incident,” Mullica Township Education Association President Barbara Rheault said.
Now school officials are looking to fire the popular teacher who has been with the district for 16 years.
“Originally they said it was failure to supervise her students,” said Rheault.
So far the district has not said why they suspended Mascio with pay, but the police who investigated the incident have not charged her with a crime.
Macio got into hot water on Sept. 30 when she found two 5-year-old students — a boy and girl — naked in the bathroom at her classroom said.
She reported the incident immediately to her supervisor but was suspended later that day. The district conducted an investigation that concluded in December but so far Rheault said they have not released the reasoning for the suspension.
But the district may be moving to terminate Mascio from her position.
Two kids, 5, were found naked in a bathroom by a teacher, who reported it and now may be fired.
The board met Wednesday and discussed the situation in a closed session meeting that was not open to the public. The board did not discuss the matter with the public afterward – even though about 200 people attended to support Mascio, Rheault said.
The day of the incident was particularly busy as the class was undergoing state testing, Rheault said. Mascio had to usher kids in and out of the room so they could take the tests, she said.
A district must submit an application to terminate a teacher through the state Department of Education. A spokesman told the Daily News Monday morning they have not received any documents regarding Mascio.
“We question why the administration would forgo the disciplinary route available and taken one that is so severe,” she said.
Superintendent Brenda Harring-Marro issued a statement to The News Monday that declined to comment on Mascio’s specific case.
“The district takes its responsibilities very seriously regarding the health, safety and welfare of our children,” she said, adding they do not comment on specific personnel matters. “Simply stated, it would be unprofessional and irresponsible for anyone associated with the school district to speak about school district students or for others to seek to capitalize on that unprofessional and irresponsible behavior.”
The superintendent added the “public reporting of this matter is neither complete nor accurate” though she did not elaborate or release additional information.