Woodbridge NJ June 20 2018-A fourth grade teacher has lost her legal bid to to get her job back after being fired for shoplifting.
The Superior Court Appellate Division ruled Friday in an 11-page decision that the Woodbridge Board of Education, a state arbitrator and a Middlesex Superior Court judge were justified in firing and upholding the firing of Michele Schawb, a tenured teacher with 16 years’ experience who worked at Robert Mascenik School in Woodbridge.
The district filed paperwork in April 2016 to fire Schwab and a state arbitrator took away her tenure in Jan. 2017.
An attorney for Schwab, Edward Cridge, declined to comment Monday on the ruling.
Schwab was suspended with pay from her $95,250 per year job as an elementary school teacher when administrators learned in March 2015 that she had been arrested in Feb. 2015 for allegedly shoplifting two NY Jets sweatshirts and a hat, valued at $225, from Sears in the Woodbridge Mall.
The charge was later dropped when a witness failed to appear in court and Schwab was put back in the classroom, even though she didn’t report the incident to the district within the required 14-day window.
“We were hoping that this was a one-time incident, and we wanted to be compassionate to Ms. Schwab,” Superintendent Robert Zega testified during the arbitration hearing.