Thursday, 22 May 2014

Teacher fired for asking 4th-graders for love advice

A city substitute teacher has been fired for seeking love life advice — from her fourth-graders, investigators say.

Cassandre Fiering, 45, was trying to choose between two boyfriends in their 30s back in June 2013, according to the bizarre report by the Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools.

Instead of turning to Dear Abbey, Fiering deputized the kids in her Eastchester grade school class as “counselors,” according to the report.
Teacher fired for asking 4th-graders for love advice

The kids — there were only four in the classroom, since the others were on a field trip — actually gave good counsel, telling Fiering to break up with the younger beau, who wasn’t returning her phone calls.

“Fiering told the students that she was dating two men who were in their thirties and she needed advice on which one to choose,” the report reads, referring to an account by one of the two students who spoke to investigators.

“Fiering asked the students to be her ‘munchkins’ and ‘toilet paper the home’ of one of the men,” the report reads.

Fiering also asked the students to dress up as “demons” and scare one of the boyfriends, according to the second student who spoke to investigators.

Given her own chance to speak with investigators, “Fiering asserted that the students were talking about relationships and Fiering fell into the conversation and brought up an ex-boyfriend,” the report reads.

The students offered to “role play” conversations in which they portrayed her and she portrayed her two boyfriends, the report said — but the conversation was G-rated and “light and funny,” she told investigators.

Now Fiering is appealing the firing, calling the whole investigation a “surreal and bizarre” fiction, including the part about ever dating two men at once.

“We were talking about relationships at one point, and one girl had a lot of ideas and I let them talk,” Fiering said by phone Wednesday.

“They were very, very excited to be listened to,” recalled Fiering, who has taught in California, Rhode Island and New York, and said she specializes in urban school settings.

“I gave abstract examples of different types of relationships, sometimes someone likes you and you don’t like them back, or sometimes someone isn’t so nice to you,” she recalled. “It was all very G-rated.”

“This is horrifying to me,” added Fiering, who is now working and living in Rhode Island, where she has subbed for eight years.

Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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