WILKES-BARRE – Some parents in Luzerne County told Newswatch 16 that they are questioning the ethics of an elementary school teacher, who left the classroom to compete on an ABC reality show.
According to Wilkes-Barre Area School District’s Superintendent, Elise Mosca took the school year off for an undisclosed “personal leave”, after teaching first graders for the past three years at Dodson Elementary School on Jackson Street.
The teacher, who lived in Forty Fort, previously taught at Heights Elementary on South Sherman Street for several years.
Several people told Newswatch 16 that it’s not Mosca’s appearance on “The Bachelor” that has sparked a controversy, but an old video filmed before Mosca was hired as a teacher, that has recently resurfaced online.
“Yule Log Hotties” featured Mosca and three other women wearing skimpy lingerie around a fireplace, drinking and toasting marshmallows.
“Some other person that wants to be a teacher should be holding her position,” said Tiffany Powell. “I think they should honestly not let her have the job, if she is going to be doing videos like that.”
The superintendent told Newswatch 16 that Mosca is not receiving pay or benefits while she is on personal leave, but a union contract says the district must secure her teaching position for one year, or until Mosca decides if she will return to her teaching job this fall.
Other district taxpayers said they did not see any reason why Mosca’s appearance on “The Bachelor”, or an old web video, should keep the experienced educator from returning to the classroom.
“Other teachers take leaves of absence. Some go back to school; this woman just went on TV,” said Mark Bernoski. “I don`t think it`s a big deal.”
“I don`t think it`s fair that when people have an opportunity on a TV show, or have their five minutes of fame, that the public… has to find dirt on them and make it harder on them,” said Dee Bernoski.
District officials said it’s unclear if Mosca plans on returning to the classroom in the fall.
A solicitor for the district is reviewing whether Mosca has violated any employee policy of the state code of conduct for the morality of educators.