Fla. Teacher Fired After Allegedly Faking Terminal Illness For A Year

Ashley Barker, Laurel Elementary School teacherBy Elicia Dover

A Florida first grade teacher has been suspended for allegedly lying about having a terminal disease so that she could leave school early and take extra days off.

Ashley Barker, a teacher at the Laurel Elementary School in the Polk County School District, was informed by the school board that she would be recommended for termination earlier this week. Barker, who could not be reached for comment, is appealing the board's decision and is suspended without pay in the meantime, according to a school district document. In her termination letter, obtained by ABC News, the school administrator says that the school reviewed approximately 120 emails over the course of less than a year sent by Barker saying that she and her father were terminally ill. Principal Julia Allen allowed Barker "days off and flexibility to leave early," according to the letter.

More: 10 Surefire Ways To Get Fired

"It was later discovered that you and your father were not ill and that you had lied in the emails," Assistant Superintendent Dennis Dunn wrote to Barker. "When (Personnel Investigator Manny) Rodriguez asked you what you did during the time you did not go to work or were allowed to leave work early, you responded that you stayed home," Dunn's letter said. The letter concluded there was "just cause" for her termination.

It was not known what illness Barker allegedly claimed to be suffering from and she and her father could not be reached for comment. District spokeswoman Julie Togba would not tell ABC News how they discovered Barker was lying, but did say they had never seen anything like this in their school district.

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her union will step in and battle the school district and she will be paid even more to go away

June 24 2013 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
martin jacoby


June 09 2013 at 8:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

These are two sick chicks, lucky to have jobs. The school should have demanded doctor notes from Barker. What losers!

June 05 2013 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jane Hafker

Excuse me....???? Ashley Barker was just fired. I.e., told she can no longer have that job and collect taxpayers' money for probably a very poor job of teaching in the first place? That's all?
What about legal charges involving what is nothing more than embezzlement and perjury and other fraud charges applicable in all other realms of life where those scum bums actually end up doing some jail time. Where are the charges, and if not, why not? Anyone know? This is outrageous abuse of a criminally insane "union" system which now chokes the U.S. almost to death. In every area of life. Yeah.

June 05 2013 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What has our society become? Lazy and no moral or work ethic. She had a good job that she only had to go to for 7 hours a day. She had every weekend off. These days the teaching materials and grading are done mostly by computer. Not to mention every little holiday, usually several days at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Spring Break. On top of that 2 1/2 months off in the summer. Teachers also get personal and sick days plus can apply for leaves. Paid year round. A job that if she works for three years and tenures, she is pretty much guaranteed a job from here on out. If you consider the pay per hours worked she had a great paying job plus insurance and retirement. WHY DID SHE NEED ANY MORE TIME OFF? She should have to pay back every penny the school system paid her with interest, because if she wanted off that much she definitely didn't work while she was there.

June 04 2013 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i think firing this teacher is the worst thing the community can do. what she did is morally wrong, illegal and sets a horrible example. being fired is obviously what she wanted in the 1st place. she just does not have courage to say it. people only lie when they are afraid. the district should keep her as a teacher and insist that she gets some psychiatric treatment and be very insistent on receiving updates. she cannot evade responsibility. also, she should be required to pay all the money lost for all the days off she took. in addition, i would impose several hours of community service w/o pay so she knows how it feels to be inconvenienced. i think she as a personality disorder and needs to get treatment immediately. i dont know how people could have ignored signs. the psychiatrist should be 1 the school picks and she has to pay for the treatment on her own, as she created all this stress on her own.

June 04 2013 at 12:25 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to archana1977's comment
Jane Hafker

and you are a personal friend of this woman it looks like? Otherwise you need to take some anti-Extreme liberal medication. This is extreme liberal spin to the point of nausea, imho. Liberal/Leftist/worse. Oh, I get it, you're another teacher in the union.

June 05 2013 at 11:34 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Administration certainly wasn't on the ball in this case .Can't think of very many places ,I've worked,where an employer didn't require considerable evidence in writing from a physician ,as to extended sick days ,especially over a year's time .

June 04 2013 at 11:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

if someone can fake this ... what else did she fake teaching children ! yuck gross people!

June 04 2013 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

She was sick with "eye trouble".... she could not see going to work!

June 04 2013 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

She got just what she deserved.

June 04 2013 at 8:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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