A disgraced teacher wants a second chance.
Monica Johnson was let go from Public School 123 following several accusations of misconduct, including asking students to massage lotion on her legs and feet. The New York City educator is now suing the Department of Education so she can get another job.
As the New York Daily News shares, Johnson had several complaints against her until her termination in 2008. In addition to the massages, she asked students to comb her hair. She was accused of calling a student “a liar and a thief” and threw an object across the classroom. In 2004 and 2005, she also received warnings for allegations of corporal punishment against students.
The teacher was officially fired from her job, which paid $57,370 a year.
She later got a new job that was rescinded after the new employer, which happened to be a Department of Education vendor, learned why she was let go.
Johnson is now suing because she wants another chance to teach. She believes her previous behavior can be explained by personal issues. She explains she had been misdiagnosed with cancer, was in a nasty custody battle and was homeless.
She says that she now knows that “professionalism is a non-negotiable."
A spokesperson from the Department of Education doesn't seem swayed by the explanation. The spokesperson stated, “Ms. Johnson’s behavior was inappropriate and completely unacceptable, and she is no longer eligible to work in our schools."