NJ kindergarten teacher suspended over students' bathroom incident

MULLICA TWP., N.J. - February 26, 2014

The case is bringing a lot of attention to Mullica Township, Atlantic County.

Over a hundred parents, teachers and supporters of suspended Mullica Township teacher Kelly Mascio gathered Wednesday night to press the school board to reinstate her.

According to paperwork filed with the state, just over a dozen kindergarten students were inside Mascio's classroom watching a movie when two students went to the back of the room and entered the classroom bathroom where "they removed their clothes and touched each other's private parts."

Mascio claims she found the students clothed and immediately reported the incident to her supervisors.

"They went into the bathroom, it was a violation of the classroom rules and she immediately reported it," said Barbara Rheault of the Mullica Township Education Association.

The district suspended Mascio with pay on September 30th and, earlier this month, the school board voted 8-1 to have her fired.

"I'm very confused and feel there has to be something missing that we don't know, because it just does not make sense," said former teacher Susan Polk.

"We believe there is no credible evidence to justify the treatment and disciplinary route Mrs. Mascio has had to endure since September 30th," said Rheault.

The board said they could not comment on personnel matters.

"The focus of this district has been and will remain to be on the health, safety and wellbeing of our children," said one board member.

Mascio and her attorney were not at the meeting Wednesday night. She has been suspended without pay, and a state arbitrator will decide her fate.

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