Secretary Gets Job Back After Letting Unauthorized Man Pick up Student

The school district tried to fire the woman for letting a student go home with a man named Bo Kang, who allegedly molested her.

Asa Messer

A secretary at a Providence, Rhode Island, elementary school who won her job back in arbitration did not return to work Monday, but she is still getting paid.

The school district tried to fire the woman for letting a student go home with a man named Bo Kang who allegedly molested her. He was not on a list of people authorized to pick up the girl.

The incident happened a year ago at the Asa Messer Elementary School, but an arbitrator recently ruled the employee can keep her job.

There are no details about the arbitration, and her union is not talking. But the school board called the arbitration outrageous.

Some parents said the clerk should be fired.

"I agree with the school because if a person doesn't have identification, the policy is you show a license when you pick up a child. They're supposed to be on the list," said a woman who didn't want to be identified.

Phil Keefe of the Service Employees International Union has been to many arbitration hearings. He is with a different public sector employees' union and said the process is usually fair.

"Because the process is really simple," Keefe said.

The Providence school district said it won't allow the secretary to return to work while it appeals her reinstatement to Superior Court.

"We are outraged by the arbitration decision that found that this inexcusable behavior did not warrant discipline. We will be appealing this decision and will do everything we can to terminate this employee. She will not be reporting to Asa Messer Elementary School on Monday," a school representative said.

Keefe said if the public knew all the facts, it might not agree.

"I think a lot of these cases, where they're saying the unions are misusing their power, they'd be saying 'yay, yay, yay' for the unions because this person wasn't guilty, but was accused," Keefe said.
NBC 10 News went to the house of the employee Monday. Her family said they can't talk about the situation at this time.

The employee's name has not been released.

Contact Us