Teacher Turns 4th Grade Class Into Her Love Gurus
The 45-year-old found herself fired after asking students for advice on her love life, according to DNAinfo New York. Apparently what happens in the classroom doesn't stay in the classroom.
Fiering allegedly was dating two men in their 30s in June 2013 and had difficulty choosing between them, according to the New York Post.
So she asked her class of five students for help. According to the report, based on a written investigation of the Special Commissioner of Investigation for New York City Schools obtained by DNAinfo, Fiering had the class role-play with her, the students taking her part as she alternately portrayed the paramours.
A big complaint: her Rhode Island-based mechanic boyfriend didn't return her calls. The verdict of the students was to dump the guy.
Fiering reportedly called the students her "munchkins" and asked them to toilet-paper the home of the mechanic. That part seems more theatrical than realistic, as the students wouldn't have had the ready means to head two states over to carry out the vengeance. Fiering also asked students to dress up as "demons" and scare one boyfriend, according to the New York Post.
Fiering told DNAinfo that the conversation was harmless:
Someone must have broken the counselor/patient confidentiality, as some students spilled the beans. School officials opened an investigation that resulted in Fiering's termination in December.
"The kids were saying, 'Oh, we're your counselor,'" Fiering recalled. "They were excited to have me listen to their advice. ... They were saying all kinds of things, trying to help me because this guy was being a jerk to me."
"It was also G-rated," she added. "I certainly wasn't talking about sex or anything."
In a conversation with the New York Post, Fiering allegedly said that the students had already been talking about relationships and that she had brought up an ex-boyfriend. She called the investigation "surreal and bizarre" and said that the claim of investigators she was actually dating two men simultaneously was fictional.
"I gave abstract examples of different types of relationships, sometimes someone likes you and you don't like them back, or sometimes someone isn't so nice to you," she said.
The teacher hugged one kid, touched the shoulder of another, and the thighs of two, the report alleged. Fiering claims that the investigators misrepresented what she said and that she is appealing the decision. Although saying she "crossed the line" and shouldn't have, Fiering says that being fired was an overreaction. "Why couldn't they say, 'Be careful about that?'" she told DNAinfo.
According to her Facebook page, Fiering currently works as a legal interpreter at Legal Interpreting Services in Brooklyn and a translator at the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island. The latter provides educational, training, and cultural programs for the "underserved, immigrants, and refugees."
She ultimately dumped both boyfriends, telling DNAinfo that the younger mechanic was "weird" and that the older one, while "sweet," is "not really right for me." Apparently, unlike publicity, not all advice is good advice.