Kandice Mason is a middle school teacher in North Carolina who says that she was unfairly suspended because she is a part-time pole dancing instructor.
Now the teacher has gone public to criticize the school district’s action, which came after school officials learned she had posted numerous pole dancing videos on her private Facebook page. You can see some of the pole dancing videos below.
In a post in July 2018 on Facebook, she wrote, in part, “Once again, I am not a robot. I do not fit into the compartmentalized piece of sh*t box that you want to place me in. I do not follow YOUR strict, conservative, prehistoric, ancient rhetoric that demonizes my sexuality and polices my body, making me unable to govern my own d*mn ADULT self and have to adhere to and within the context and moral obligations of your own personal code of ethics.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mason Claims She Pole Dances to Stay in Shape
Mason said in an interview with WSOC-TV that she pole dances to remain in shape, painting the activity as being about fitness. “That’s how I stay in shape. That’s how I feel like I can express myself and have time for myself,” Mason said to the television station.
The station added that Mason also pole dances to unwind from the stresses of her job.
On her Facebook page, Mason describes herself as, “L 💖ver Dreamer St🌟r Gazer Poet Pole Dancer Mother Tarot Reader Mermaid Nerd Fae Spiritual FREE.” She writes that she “works at Pole Dance Instructor.”
One of her pole dancing videos is captioned, “🎶I know you want me baby…”
Her Facebook page, where she goes by the name Arisa Layce Mason, is filled with photos and videos of her pole dancing. She also writes poetry. One photo contains the caption, “Here I am, Small piece of the universe, Romantic, wild river. Just a dash of magic, stardust and Van Gogh Paintings <3 -me.”
Another says, “I was wearing nothing but stars and clouds that night, and you told me the sky looked pretty on me…” She also filled her page with the words of famous poets, such as this line from Pablo Neruda, “I want to do with you want spring does with the 🍒 cherry 🍒 tree’s.”
She wrote on Facebook after the suspension, “Anybody’s kids need a reading tutor? (Supervised if it makes ya happy). I might be available in a few….Anybody want pole lessons? I might be available in a few.”
She wrote in July 2018 of her love for butterflies: “Today was so magickal to say the least… I love butterflies. My room is covered with them. They adorn and surround my bed. A butterfly was actually my first and only tattoo… I feel so close to butterflies because I never always felt pretty or confident, so when people attack me, I think about the insecure girl I was when I was little. I think about how the fact that some people can tear me down as if it didn’t take me YEARS to build myself up. I think about how in my life the older I get the more mature, loving, beautiful, and lovely I become. I held several today, but there was one butterfly that literally would not leave my side. I believe it may have been a human spirit… Even when I tried to hand the butterfly over to another little kid so he could enjoy their gentle spirit the butterfly stayed. I just feel so blessed… I saw so many 777s today. The girls and I had fun at this beautiful garden.”
2. Kandice Mason Was Hired to Teach 6th Grade at a Middle School
Mason was hired to teach at West Hoke County Middle School, which is located in Raeford, North Carolina. She was to teach a class of sixth graders.
According to AJC.com, the school district refused to detail why Kandice Mason was suspended but described a school policy about employees being role models.
The suspension could go before the local school board.
3. Mason Describes Herself as ‘Very Smart’ & Wanting to Make a Difference in Children’s Lives
Kandice Mason Has Created a GoFundMe page. It starts, “Hi, I’m Kandice Mason. The pole dancing teacher that was recently suspended with pay.”
She continues: “Well, I have never had to do one of these things for myself, so excuse me if it sounds all over the place. I wasn’t even sure about what to put for the end goal amount.” (The page seeks $5,000).
She then explained her love of teaching as well as pole dancing, writing, “Those of you who don’t know, I’m a teacher. I have three degrees. I am very smart, and I just happen to love pole dancing… It is a passion I do not want to have to give up. I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives as well, but maybe that might not actually be the plan for me. I hate asking for money… but I do know realistically it is going to be hard for me to find enough for a lawyer, my mortgage, and my girls if I don’t think of something quick.”
The post continues:
Whatever your willing to help with would make me happy. If you have a job opportunity I’d be perfect for, I’d be happy. I truly am phenomenal with kids. Especially babies. I don’t mind trying to help out with babysitting, tutoring, pole tutorials etc. okay, see? This is starting to sound like I just need a few job referrals/ offers… lol
I want you all to know that at my last position someone also had a problem I pole danced. Instead of firing me, I was treated very horrible and was unable to move up at the establishment despite having no write ups and building very good rapport with parents. I worked hard to see every child and baby that crossed my path was happy and taken care of. I have a big heart. I’m always planning and trying to find ways to make the most out of what I’ve got. Maybe I can use the funds to start a home studio for women. Thank you all in advance for thinking and caring about me. Im a single mom and the girls father has past away, so it truly is all on me. I would appreciate any help.
4. Mason Is a Single Mother With Three Degrees
Kandice Mason is the holder of three degrees, according to WSOC, which listed them as a masters in psychology, bachelors in English, and a certificate in phlebotomy. On Facebook, she wrote that she “studied Applied Psychological Research at Capella University”; “studied Phlebotomy/Lab at Coastal Carolina Community College”; and “studied English, Theatre, and Languages at University of North Carolina at Pembroke.”
She wrote that she is from Sydney, Australia, has lived in Los Angeles, and went to Hoke County and A.P. Leto High Schools. She lists herself as single.
According to the television station, she is also a single mother of two children. She was hired to teach in the school only a month before the suspension.
“I’ve worked so hard to try and make sure I can provide for my daughters and our livelihood to have it jeopardized just for doing something that I’m passionate about,” Mason told AJC.com.
5. A Petition Was Started to Help Kandice Mason
A petition on Change.org is urging the school district to let Kandice Mason teach. It has more than 500 signatures.
The petition describes pole dancing as Mason’s “hobby,” and reads, “This video was taken from her private Facebook page without her permission and was used as a weapon against her reputation.”
The petition adds: “From all accounts, this woman was respected in her field and loved her job. It is a shame that just because she enjoys doing something in her free time which is still seen as sexual, when it isn’t, she had to lose her job.”
However, the school district has suspended, and not fired, Mason.