Questions being raised after Ramona teacher removes pants during school recess

School officials: Teacher was 'battling illness'

RAMONA, Calif. - Questions are being raised in Ramona after a teacher at James Dukes Elementary School took off her pants during recess. The bizarre behavior has some families worried that the teacher could be a danger to their children.

"I was just in total shock," said Allen Wetter, whose six-year-old granddaughter witnessed the incident.

Wetter is concerned that the teacher, who 10News is not naming, will return to school too soon.

"Just think about it: If one of us were to drop our pants in front of kindergarteners, do you think we'd be back at work by Monday?" he asked.

Wetter and his wife, Teri, say school officials first claimed the teacher hurt her eye, then that she'd suffered some sort of a seizure.

10News contacted Ramona Unified School District Superintendent Robert Graeff, who confirmed the incident happened but said it was "overblown."

"At no time were any students in danger," said Graeff, who added the teacher would not return to the classroom until she's fit for duty.

Because of privacy issues, Graeff could not provide details of the teacher's illness, but said the district is working with her to make sure she gets the medical assistance she needs.

After 10News began making inquiries, parents of children at the school received the following recorded message on their telephones:

"Good afternoon, James Dukes families and staff. This is Principal Harris and I am calling with an important message. I would like to take a moment to clarify details from an incident that happened in a secluded area of the campus during recess on Thursday. One of our female, primary grade teachers was battling illness where she became confused and disoriented, resulting in the staff member temporarily removing a piece of her clothing. This incident  was not typical of her behavior and was only witnessed by a few students. The teacher received medical attention immediately and students remained calm at all times. Although a specific date is not yet certain, the teacher does plan to return to work once her medical needs are addressed satisfactorily. Please be assured that your students' safety, and the safety of the staff, is my first priority. Like you, I am proud to be a part of the Coyote pack and as always, I am available if you have any concerns."

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