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Tenured NJ teacher fired for confining students in bathroom

WAYNE, N.J. (AP) — A state arbitrator has fired a tenured teacher in New Jersey for confining two students in a bathroom.

The arbitrator found Donna DeMarco was guilty of conduct unbecoming for using the confinement as a means of punishment or behavioral control.

DeMarco was a teacher at Packanack Elementary School in Wayne. Half of her class of 16 students were special needs or had autism.

The teacher testified she used bathroom confinement as a de-escalation technique for two students during the 2015-16 school year. She also said she referred to the children using derogatory terms in front of colleagues as a means of venting.

The arbitrator said the name-calling was unprofessional, but not grounds for termination.

DeMarco was hired in 2006 and granted tenure in 2009.

Her lawyer declined comment.

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