Last April, a story ran in these pages that was utterly shocking and indicative of a moral decline in American society. If there was any comfort to be derived from the narrative, which centered on two kindergarteners engaging in sexual relations, it came from the fact that this incident was one-off.
Only it wasn’t, as it turns out. According to the Press of Atlantic City, another pair of 5-year-olds — a male and a female — were found naked in the classroom bathroom “having sex,” in the words of their teacher Kelly Mascio.
Mascio’s job is on the line, though residents and her fellow teachers in this rural community are urging the powers that be to reconsider firing the 15-year veteran.
Mullica (N.J.) Township Education Association President Barbara Rheault said of the decision by Superintendent Brenda Harring-Marro to file tenure charges against Mascio:
Our main concern is that the administration has completely forgone all traditional disciplinary avenues available in handling the incident. 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.
Maybe we’re missing something here, but it seems that none of the principals in this drama is particularly concerned that two very young children were caught “doing the nasty.” The article notes that when the incident occurred, Mascio immediately reported it to Principal Matthew Mazzoni, who in turn advised the Police Department and the state Department of Youth and Family Services. The police, finding no reason to pursue criminal charges, closed the case.
What about the state agency? Has it interviewed the families of the children in an attempt to learn more about how this unimaginable act came to be and whether it has happened before? Is the department conducting an investigation to determine whether the families are fit to raise young children?
The article notes that the Board of Education met Wednesday to discuss the fate of the teacher. That’s all well and good: Mascio, in their view, is a dedicated teacher and they want to see her vindicated. But does the board have no plans to discuss what happened in the kindergarten bathroom? If they don’t, what in the world is wrong with them?