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Substitute teacher fired after speaking with 10News

By Madison Weil,


NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (KGTV) — A substitute teacher says she was fired by the National School District after speaking with ABC 10News about the teacher charged with having a sexual relationship with a former student.

Valentina Hernandez said she was hired to substitute teach in the same school where the accused teacher, Jacqueline Ma, earned the title “Teacher of the Year.” Ma is currently in jail being held on no bail.

Hernandez says a principal within the district had communicated to her that she would be filling in for Ma at Lincoln Acres Elementary following Ma’s arrest.

However, when she came to work on Thursday, she says district HR told her she had been let go and that she was no longer needed.

“They said oh because you’re late and because you had an interview with the news. And I said oh, well if I had known this was going to happen then I wouldn’t have done the interview,” said Hernandez.

When ABC 10News asked National School District if staff or substitutes are prohibited from speaking with media, they told us that their policy states the following:

“The Superintendent or designee shall identify the district's and/or site's primary media contact to whom all media inquiries shall be routed.  Spokespersons designated to speak to the media on behalf of the district include the Board president, Superintendent, public information officer, or district communications director. Other Board members and/or staff may be asked by the Superintendent or designee to speak to the media on a case-by-case basis, depending on their expertise on an issue or appropriateness given a particular situation.”

The district confirmed that Hernandez works for an agency that helps them secure substitute teachers. They added that Hernandez was not assigned to Ma’s classroom.

In the wake of this, Hernandez says she is continuing to work at other schools.

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