This is a story of poor judgment, really poor judgment. Last year, on Prom night 2012, Isabel Diaz-Almaraz says that she used her paypal account to rent a penthouse suite for more than a dozen students at the school where she gave dance lessons.
A few months later, in July, one of the students posted this picture to instagram with the caption “Thanks Mrs. D.!”:
She said she went by the suite and provided the kids with various toiletries, but denies purchasing any alcohol or condoms for the students. Students have said that they bought the alcohol and that the teacher never drank. The school board believes that her husband. Pablo, even spent time in the room cooking for the students.
“Being at the room is not something she should have done,” attorney Mark S. Herdman said. “She acknowledged that and has taken responsibility for that.” He argued that a six month suspension was punishment enough.
At the time, the school board recommended Diaz-Almaraz be terminated for her actions, but the three-year South Miami teacher appealed the decision.
During the investigation, Diaz-Almaraz confessed to having purchased the suite with her PayPal account, explaining that she had reserved the room for the students, who later reimbursed her, the Miami-Herald reports. She also admitted that she had visited the hotel suite before prom and the day after. But she denied allegations that she gave students alcohol or condoms.
Administrative judge F. Scott Boyd reviewed the school board’s decision this summer and recommended that Diaz-Almaraz be reinstated following her suspension, according to a school board memorandum. But the school board decided to fire her, stating that they were there to protect the students.
“She is a Miami person. She lives in Miami,” Herdman said. “She gets fired from this and it ends her career.”
Well, we will never really know what happened on that prom night, but hopefully, Isabel’s future judgment calls will show a little more thought and maturity.
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