MAYFIELD, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A Mayfield preschool teacher was put on administrative leave. Many said the reason for the decision came down to a Facebook post regarding New York’s mask mandate. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and hundreds more banded together on Facebook to call on the district to reinstate her.
The Village of Mayfield is a tight-knit community made up of only around 800 people. The Mayor, Jamie Ward, said the issue is turning the community upside down. “This is divisive times and we don’t need this,” Ward said. “The school district has overreacted.”
Ward is joined by hundreds of others in the Facebook group—Parents of Fulton/Montgomery County for choice!—asking Mayfield Central School District to reinstate Carrie Lizzio as a pre-k teacher immediately.
“This is just crazy,” Becca Shibley, mom to one of Lizzio’s students, said. “I’m sure I can speak for every parent in her class that our kids miss her and want her back.”
Many supporters have changed their Facebook profile picture to an image of the Mayfield panter with the hashtag “#StandWithCarey.”
“She is the poster child for a perfect teacher,” Ward said. “I don’t care what they come back with. Whatever their reason is, this is wrong.”
Ward said the district told Lizzio the reasoning behind the administrative leave was due to a Facebook post. That same week, Lizzio reshared a post from Congresswoman Elise Stefanik that stated the mask mandate was illegal. The post came in the wake of the NYS judge ruling in Nassau County that declared Hochul’s in-door mask mandate is “unconstitutional” before an Appellate court judge issued a stay.
“Last night, numerous constituents brought to my attention information regarding a Pre-K teacher in Fulton County who was wrongfully put on administrative leave for sharing one of my Facebook posts on her private, personal Facebook page,” Stefanik stated. “This widely-respected Pre-K teacher was outrageously escorted from her classroom and is no longer allowed on school property pending an investigation.”
News10 reached out to the Mayfield Central School District and received a statement from a Communications Specialist at Capital Region BOCES. Much of the statement focused on Congresswoman Stefanik’s press release. The district representative pointed out that Stefanik used the word “firing” instead of “administrative leave.”
“The information Congresswoman Stefanik posted is misleading and inaccurate,” a representative for MCSD stated. “Ms. Stefanik’s allegation that a teacher has been placed on administrative leave for “sharing one of [Representative Stefanik’s] Facebook posts” regarding the mask mandate also is inaccurate.”
When NEWS10 asked the district representative for further information on the reason behind Mrs. Lizzio’s administrative leave, we did not receive a response.
A representative for Stefanik told News10, she has called on the Mayfield Central School District to release all documentation and communication related to the decision to put Lizzio on administrative leave. Additionally, Stefanik’s representative said the Congresswoman is in the process of filing several FOIL requests to obtain further information.