Kandice Mason, a sixth grade teacher at West Hoke County Middle School in North Carolina, was suspended after it was revealed that she teaches pole dancing (clothed), part-time on the side.
Mason recalled told WDTK how she uses pole dancing to unwind:
That’s how I stay in shape. That’s how I feel like I can express myself and have time for myself.
Mason said she posted a video of her pole dancing to her private Facebook page, but it was leaked by an unidentified person to the Hoke County Public Schools:
I’ve worked so hard to try and make sure I can provide for my daughters and our livelihood to have it jeopardized just for doing something that I’m passionate about.
Hoke County Schools rep Donna Thomas released a statement:
Kandice Mason has been suspended with pay pending an investigation.
Mason showed WTDK the policy that the school told her she violated:
As role models for the school system, students, however, employees are responsible for their public conduct … even when they are not performing their job duties as employees of the school system.
Mason is stunned by the allegations:
It wasn’t even like it was a parent or student that brought this up. It was someone that was being malicious and pretty much trying to make me out to be a bad person.
I’ve never felt ashamed of pole dancing. It’s just an art for me. I just don’t see it as negative.
Mason’s case may go before the Hoke County School Board, at taxpayer expense.