A North Carolina teacher says she was suspended after she posted a video to her private Facebook of her pole dancing routine, BuzzFeed News reports.
The teacher, Kandice Mason, is a part-time pole dancing instructor, and BuzzFeed News reports her hobby was “a way to exercise, de-stress, and as a form of creative release.” She went through great lengths to keep her social media page private and unsearchable because it had been a conflict at a previous job.
Mason had been hired as a sixth grade English teacher at West Hoke County Middle School when the assistant superintendent called her in for a meeting during orientation.
“When I came into the office, she had my Facebook profile pulled up onto her personal computer and my most recent video,” Mason told BuzzFeed News.
An unidentified tipster had apparently sent the assistant superintendent the video, which showed Mason dancing to the song “Superman” by Eminem.
“The superintendent, the principal and another woman basically berated me about how my song choice was vulgar, and that if parents found out they would have an issue,” Mason said. “She also asked me what I thought seventh and eighth grade boys would think and whether they would still view me as a teacher.”
Per BuzzFeed News:
Mason said she told the administrators what parents thought depended on their personal views of pole dancing and that she couldn’t control what the boys thought.
Still, school officials told her “to think about her choices” and asked her to leave the school campus. A representative for Hoke County Schools referred ABC11 to a policy mandating employees be “role models” even outside of work but did not provide specifics for why Mason was suspended.
Mason maintains that she will not give up dancing—nor the fight to keep her teaching job.
“I dance because it’s in my heart, it’s in my soul,” she said. “I dance because it makes me feel free. It’s a huge part of my identity.”