Brian Entin reports
District wants to know if she fell asleep on the job and other accusations are true
HOBE SOUND, Fla. - Just four years ago she was teacher of the year, but now the Martin County Superintendent wants veteran Hobe Sound Elementary kindergarten teacher Polly Wixson fired.
Wixson has been out of the classroom since March.
According to a district report, Wixson left students unsupervised and has fallen asleep at meetings.
The report cites three February incidents where it states a lack of student supervision resulted in two male students engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior with a female student.
The report also says a lack of supervision resulted in a sexually demonstrative and inappropriate behavior by a male student in front of the class.
The Martin County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Children and Families are also investigating.
At an August meeting, the school board voted to put Wixson on unpaid suspension after she was on paid leave since March.
"I can't with a clear conscience pay her to sit at home," school board member Michael Diterlizzi said.
A termination hearing was scheduled for September 19th, but is now delayed.
"She has abandoned her students on two occasions, can't control her students in the hallway, forgets conversations," district attorney Kim Sable said as she read the report at the August meeting.
But outside Hobe Sound Elementary on Friday, parents were surprised to hear the allegations and some said they support the longtime teacher.
"She truly loved what she was doing and we enjoyed her being with our daughter," one parent said.
Another parent and former teacher said she isn't casting judgments because the teacher hasn't yet had a chance to defend herself.
"They can say whatever they want. They can make up the truth. There are two sides to every story," Susan Bosshart said.
Wixon's attorney Peggy Uggerbrink did not want to comment on Friday, but she did say at the August School Board meeting: "Ms. Wixon adamantly denies all allegations."
It's unclear when her termination hearing will be held.
The school district also declined to comment.