Burlington School District Places Embattled Counselor on Leave | Off Message

Burlington School District Places Embattled Counselor on Leave


Burlington High School - FILE: OLIVER PARINI
  • File: Oliver Parini
  • Burlington High School
Updated on September 15, 2018.

The Burlington School District announced Friday that it will place guidance director Mario Macias on administrative leave pending the completion of a state investigation.

Following a yearlong inquiry, the Agency of Education cited Macias on September 7 with six counts of alleged professional misconduct. The Register, the high school's student newspaper, broke the news of the allegations on Monday. Principal Noel Green ordered the newspaper to remove the story Tuesday, but not before other local media outlets verified and reported on the allegations. Green later agreed to allow the students to repost their story.

At a school board meeting Thursday night, residents berated Superintendent Yaw Obeng and the board for the handling of allegations levied against Macias. The board went into executive session for more than an hour to discuss a "personnel issue."

The district released a statement about Macias' leave at 5:13 p.m. Friday.

"This leave will ensure that all parties involved will have the opportunity to engage in this process without disruptions while maintaining the climate and positive learning and working environment at Burlington High School," Obeng said in the statement.

It's unclear if Macias will be paid while off the job. An email requesting clarification, and containing other follow-up questions, went unanswered.

The school board, meanwhile, said in a statement that the law prohibits it "from taking any direct employment action against Mr. Macias."

"Such action is under the authority of Superintendent Obeng, and the board endorses Superintendent Obeng's decision to place Mario Macias on administrative leave," the statement read.