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Teen Accidentally Assigned As Substitute Teacher

March 14, 1986

LEVITTOWN, N.Y. (AP) _ An elementary school accidentally assigned a 16-year-old girl to work as a substitute teacher, leading officials to tighten security even though the superintendent said Thursday the imposter did a ″good job.″

″Be assured that this was a one-time occurrence,″ John H. Furlong, principal of Gardiners Avenue Elementary School, wrote in a letter sent to parents. ″We are usually very good about checking substitutes.″

The incident occurred Feb. 11, when it snowed heavily and many regular faculty and staff failed to show up at the school.

″It was a miserable day and we had trouble getting substitutes,″ said Levittown schools superintendent Gerald Rauber, who called the confusion ″a bizarre thing.″

Furlong said the teen-ager, identified only as Carol, arrived at the main office ″at the time when our substitute teachers usually sign in.″ The girl, who was described as mature looking, was told to take a third-grade class.

The mistake was not discovered until children in the class told their parents that their substitute teacher was only 16 and had told them to call her ″Carol″ rather than ″Miss.″

School officials said they would not identify the school employee who assigned the girl, a MacArthur High School student, to a class.

″It was a fluke. I don’t think there was any malice involved whatsoever,″ Rauber said. ″It did point out some flaws in our procedure.″

Rauber said the district was improving security as a result of the incident.

Despite the mistake, Rauber said her students gave the young substitute high marks. She tried to teach them long division and played games with them, he said.

″She did a good job,″ he said. ″Maybe we have a new model for instruction.″

03-13-86 2110EST

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