The Akron teacher who could lose her job for Facebook pictures of her students with duct tape on their mouths is speaking out.
In an exclusive interview with NewsChannel 5's Bob Jones, Buchtel math teacher Melissa Cairns says the pictures came out of a joke among students, when one student took a piece of duct tape meant to fix a binder and put it on their mouth.
"The other kids in the class thought it was funny also," Cairns told the television station, "and they proceeded to pass the tape and the scissors around the class, and the students, the majority of the class, ended up putting duct tape around their mouth."
Cairns says it was a mistake to take a picture - which was encouraged by her students - and put it on Facebook. She says she did not place the duct tape on any students' mouth herself.
In the interview, Cairns says that one mistake shouldn't cost her her job.
"Do I think that this one stupid mistake should cost me the last 10 years of all the work that I've done?", Cairns tells NewsChannel 5's Bob Jones, "absolutely not."
The Akron school board voted last week in executive session to move ahead with Cairns' possible dismissal, a vote which could take place next week.
Akron school board president Jason Haas tells NewsChannel 5 that there are guidelines that protect students.
"Students are protected under federal law, and they have certain protections", Haas says, "and again, not knowing all the circumstances, but it looked like that would potentially violate those protections."
Haas and the other board members are expected to vote on Cairns' job status at their January 28th meeting.
On the Web: WEWS NewsChannel 5, www.newsnet5.com