HOKE COUNTY, North Carolina (KRON/CNN) — A teacher is upset after she was suspended for something she considers just a hobby.
She says she was taken off the job because of her part-time role as a pole-dancing instructor.
She just got her orientation pack and was really looking forward to meeting her sixth graders.
“I was very excited,” teacher Kandice Mason said. “I had already been given my classroom.”
She also has a passion for learning.
The single mom of two has three degrees–a master’s in psychology, bachelor’s in English, and a certificate in phlebotomy.
And she’s also a self-taught pole dancer.
“That’s how I stay in shape,” Mason said. “That’s how I feel like I can express myself and have time for myself.”
Ganders posted a video of her pole dancing inside her home to her private Facebook account.
But it somehow got leaked to Hoke County public schools.
“I work so hard to try to make sure I can provide for my daughters, for myself, for our livelihood,” Mason said. “To have it jeopardized just for doing something that I’m passionate about.”
Mason was suspended with pay.
Hoke County schools couldn’t tell us why but Mason showed CNN the policy the school told her that 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 said.
And that was tough for Kandice to read.
“It wasn’t even like a parent or student that brought it up,” Mason said. “It was someone that was just trying to be malicious and trying to pretty much just make me out to be a bad person.”
That’s also not who Mason says she is.
“I’ve never felt ashamed of pole dancing,” Mason said. “It’s just an art for me. So, I just don’t see it as negative.”
The case could go before the school board, which has the final say regarding her employment.