A Dunbar Middle School special education teacher was spearheading a fundraiser for the trip. She also controlled the money that was raised. School children spent five months raising the money and now parents are hoping they can get some of the money back.
Around 40 Dunbar students thought that in three weeks, they would be packing their bags and heading to New York for their spring break. Principal, Dr. Royce Avery, says it was as trip of a lifetime for some of these kids. But the trip was cancelled.
"I'm having to field a lot of questions with kids because they are upset. They don't understand why they aren't being able to do this. They don't understand where the money is," said Avery.
Dr. Avery says the teacher, KaRee Copeland, handled the fundraising efforts for the trip. "She followed chain of command to ask permission," said Avery.
He told her in September when he was approached about the fundraiser, she would be personally responsible for the fundraising project because the school would not be able to sponsor it.
"About a week or so ago, I got a phone call from a candy company wanting to get payment for candy that was sold," told Dr. Avery. He told us at that point, he questioned Copeland about that phone call. Three days ago, Copeland was no longer working for L.I.S.D. "She tendered her resignation and was relieved from her position," said Avery.
Dr. Avery says this was Copeland's first year to teach at L.I.S.D. Parents tell us they want criminal charges brought against the teacher. We're told by the district they are not investigating it because the trip was not a school sponsored event.
NewsChannel 11 was unable to contact Copeland for comment.
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