Teachers Busted for Calling In Sick, Then Posting Vacation Photos on Facebook
Filed under: In The News
More than a dozen New York City teachers have been disciplined for abusing their sick days -- calling in with the sniffles only to take a mental health day or two -- and then posting photos of their escapades online.
The New York Daily News reports that at least 13 teachers, classroom aides and school cooks were busted for skipping school to go on European honeymoons, Caribbean cruises and other sun-drenched holidays, in violation of state Department of Education rules.
Not only did they call in sick to go on vacation, some of them also posted photographs of their exploits on Facebook, tipping off investigators. All the employees had notes from their doctors, but the photographic evidence did them in. And the tans didn't help, either.
Robert Nappo, 55, teaches and coaches at Susan Wagner High School on Staten Island. His crime? A 2008 honeymoon in Aruba with his wife, Cindy, a teacher at Carnarsie High School in Brooklyn. The two were fined $7,500 each when officials discovered they both used five sick days and three unapproved personal days for their trip.
Then there's 38-year-old assistant school cook Mary Marconi, who resigned after it was discovered that she used seven sick days for a 2009 island cruise. Her braided hair and tan gave her away -- and so did her Facebook photos.
"My doctor had told me that he wanted me to take a week off from work because I was stressed," Marconi tells the Daily News. "I understand I did something wrong without realizing it, but I'm sure they could have gone about it another way without making me lose my job."
Teachers and paraprofessionals in New York City get summers and school vacations off, and are entitled to 10 sick days each year. With permission, they can convert three sick days into personal days. School aides get an hour of sick time for every 20 hours they work.
State officials warn educators that students aren't the only ones who can get into trouble for playing hooky.
"Sick days are for when a person is sick, period," DOE spokeswoman Ann Forte tells the Daily News. "If teachers or staff are found to be abusing the policy to take a vacation, we will take action."
Related: 'Snobby' Parents Don't Care for Teacher's Facebook Post, Have Her Deleted
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.