Kandice Mason
Screenshot: ABC11

We all have our ways to detox and unwind. For some people, it’s taking a well-deserved nap, for others it’s maybe a little retail therapy, for me, it’s yoga, and for Kandice Mason, it’s pole dancing.

Except now, Mason’s safe-space has been violated after a video of her pole dancing, which was posted to her private Facebook account, was leaked to North Carolina’s Hoke County Public Schools, now leaving her job as a sixth-grade teacher at West Hoke County Middle School in jeopardy.

“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 ABC11.

Mason loves to teach and was looking forward to meeting her students in the fall. The teacher also has a passion for learning, as is clear, from her three degrees including a masters in Psychology, bachelors in English, and a certificate in phlebotomy.

She also taught herself pole dancing, her means of de-stressing.

“That’s how I stay in shape. That’s how I feel like I can express myself and have time for myself,” Mason explained.

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And hey, who isn’t proud of their passions and the things they learn. Pole dancing is a sport, which requires immense strength and discipline.

But apparently, in this the year of Beyoncé 2018, we still haven’t learned to leave women’s bodies and their varied forms of self-expression alone. Because one video of a teacher pole dancing in her underwear that covers about as much as your standard bikini has become a huge thing. Mason was suspended by the school district with pay, pending an investigation. The case could go before the Hoke County School Board, which, in that case, would have the final say in her employment.

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Hoke County Schools declined to say exactly why Mason was suspended, but the teacher says that the school told her she violated a particular policy, which reads, “As role models for the school system, students, however, employees are responsible for their public conduct ... even when they are not performing their job duties as employees of the school system.”

But what’s the real tea? And if that’s what the school really told her, how is pole dancing, again a legit bad-ass sport, an issue?

“I’ve never felt ashamed of pole dancing. It’s just an art for me. I just don’t see it as negative,” Mason said.

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