Two 5-year-old Kindergarten students in a N.J. elementary school admitted they had “sex” in the classroom bathroom. The teacher of the class, 15-year veteran administrator Kelly Mascio, has been suspended as the school board contemplates her possible dismissal.
The incident occurred on September 30 at a school in Mullica Township, New Jersey, reports The Orlando Sentinel on Monday. No criminal charges were filed, and Mascio has been suspended with pay since the bizarre episode happened.
According to the police report, Mascio found the two five-year-olds – a boy and a girl – naked in her in-classroom bathroom. They admitted to the Mascio that they were “having sex.”
Mascio did immediately report the incident to her boss, Principal Matthew Mazzoni, who in turn advised the Mullica Police Department and the state Department of Youth and Family Services.
While no official charges were filed by police investigators, the Mullica Township Board of Education voted last Wednesday to bring internal charges against Mascio, seeking to have her removed from her position.
The vote came despite support from parents in the community, who came to the teacher's side at a rally outside the school, calling Mascio a "much beloved teacher." About 200 people took part in the rally, reports the Press of Atlantic City.
“Our main concern is that the [N.J. school board] 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.”
Kelly Mascio "acted in a professional manner and responsibly reported the incident," Rheault said.
While it’s unlikely the children were engaged in actual sex, in their innocence, they may have used that term to describe their actions – whatever they were. Nevertheless, there was a clear breakdown… perhaps on the part of the parents, whose children should have known their actions were improper, and perhaps on the part of the teacher, who clearly lost sight of these two children.
Where do you land on this story? Should this teacher lose her job?
A level of trust is inherent in our administrators – they will care for our kids while they are under their charge. That includes making sure the teacher knows where the children are at all times and are not doing anything harmful. What if one of her students starts to choke, or eats a peanut and goes into shock, or is diabetic or prone to seizures? A teacher must provide supervision in all cases.
While teachers cannot accompany a child into a bathroom, would it not be her responsibility to know when two of her kids go into a classroom bathroom together, and remain there for a long enough time that they undress?
On the other hand, was this teacher asked to be in charge of too many students at one time? Is this a case of continued school cuts that perhaps have overloaded and spread thin this teacher’s ability to oversee her class?
Leave your thoughts below.