Superintendent Suspended For Bringing Champagne To Celebrate Employee Retirement

Michigan superintendent was suspended for five days without pay for bringing champagne to school retirement party

Dearborn Heights, MI – A Michigan public schools superintendent was suspended for five days without pay after she violated a school policy by bringing a bottle of champagne onto school property to celebrate a party for retiring colleagues.

Dearborn Heights School District 7 Superintendent Jennifer Mast was suspended May 13 by the school board, according to the Detroit Free Press. Mast’s gross wages were $131,706 in 2017-18.

Mast said she brought the bottle of champagne for a toast and poured it for some of the people who attended the party for the retiring employees, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The event was held on June 21, 2018 after students and teachers were gone for the summer.

"We drank literally, half of bottle of champagne and there were 12 adults present," Mast said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "It was completely innocent."

The school district has a policy that prohibits alcohol or drugs on all school property, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Mast said she expected to be disciplined but was stunned by the severity of the suspension.

School Board President Mandy Diroff released a statement.

"The Board of Education expects the superintendent will be in the district fulfilling her duties next week as the district staff continues to provide its excellent educational services to all of its students," Diroff said in the statement, according to the Detroit Free Press. "Since this is a personnel matter subject to applicable privacy rights, no further comments will be made."

Attorneys hired by the school board investigated the complaint and Mast told them she brought the champagne but didn’t notice who drank the alcohol, according to the Detroit Free Press.

"My intentions when bringing champagne for a toast was to celebrate and show appreciation to the dedicated staff we have in D7," Mast said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "My intention was to build morale among staff where the morale had been at an all-time low prior to my leadership. … I never dreamed that I would be suspended for five days without pay. I never imagined being asked for my keys, escorted out of my building and losing access to my email, voice mail, etc."

Comments (29)
No. 1-10
lmr111702
lmr111702

Common sense should prevail here but apparently it did not. This is beyond ridiculous. No students were present, it was a retirement party. Get a grip folks.

Foundoutwest11
Foundoutwest11

"build morale among staff where the morale had been at an all-time low", (wonder why)

JohnP
JohnP

Remember, these are the people teaching our kids.

ump14
ump14

This is why ZERO tolerance policies work so well - common sense is averted and those without any are kept hidden.

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

I'm on the fence on this one. Right or Wrong is debatable. She should have used a little more common sense and realized that there is a policy in place that prohibits bringing alcohol on school property. I bet that policy doesn't state that it excludes times when "students" aren't present. Technically they could have fired her.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

"Michigan superintendent was suspended for five days without pay for bringing champagne to school retirement party"

and that's because it wasn't a '59 Dom Perignon. I mean REALLY .....how gauche.

Jimmyd2
Jimmyd2

I retired from a government agency and would never have expected that an event at my workplace would appropriately involve alcohol. I organized my own gathering at a nearby brewery and had a great time. A manager is paid big bucks for exercising good judgement. The superintendent failed in that regard.

Storm45
Storm45

What a bunch of bureaucratic nincompoops. Letter over spirit. Get a life. Maybe a verbal warning, but suspension without pay. All these harpies probably wash their hands before they pee..

Grandmoi
Grandmoi

zero tolerance policies are geared towards demanding that all offenses are created equal and that no common sense is ever permitted.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

She's the superintendent... who brought alcohol onto school property, who allowed her subordinates to consume alcohol on school property. She's lucky they didn't terminate her outright.

For those who are confused, the consumption of alcohol by adults isn't the issue; it's that it was done on school property. Can you imagine what the response would be if some students had done this?