HOKE COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina teacher is outraged after she says she was suspended because the district found out she's a part-time pole dancing instructor.
Kandice Mason works in Hoke County, at West Hoke County Middle School. She posted a video of her dancing on her private Facebook page, but the school district got a hold of it and suspended her.
"I was really excited. I had already been given my classroom," said Mason.
The single mother of two has three degrees; a masters in psychology, bachelors in English, and a certificate in phlebotomy.
She's also a self-taught pole dancer, using it to unwind in her home after long days in the classroom.
"That's how I stay in shape. That's how I feel like I can express myself and have time for myself," Mason said.
Hoke County Schools would not specify why Mason was suspended but cited a policy that says employees should be role models, even when they're not at work.
“I've worked so hard to try and make sure I can provide for my daughters and our livelihood, to have it jeopardized just for doing something that I'm passionate about,” Mason said.
Mason has been suspended with pay pending an investigation.
"I've never felt ashamed of pole dancing. It's just an art for me. I just don't see it as negative," Mason said.
Her case could go before the school board, which would have the final say.
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