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posted: 9/27/2013 4:37 PM

Burlington teacher fired over relationship with student

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A teacher at Central High School in Burlington has been fired over allegations she had an inappropriate relationship with a male student last semester.

The Central Unit District 301 school board fired Shari Piazza on Monday night. The vote was 6-0, with one member absent. Piazza was accused of "gross misconduct," according to Superintendent Todd Stirn.

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Piazza taught special eduction at the school the past two years. Before that, she taught at a district middle school.

The student involved, a male, was 18 at the time, and was one of her students.

Stirn said Piazza worked with students with a variety of abilities, including some with "special needs."

A school worker reported a rumor of the relationship to school authorities Sept. 4, he said. Piazza was interviewed that day and placed on administrative leave while administrators talked with the student to verify the relationship. The school has also reported its investigation to the Kane County Sheriff's office. It did not report the incident to the Department of Children and Family Services because the student was 18 at the time, Stirn said.

The student still attends the school.

Stirn was not sure of Piazza's age, but said he thinks she is 28.

Piazza was starting her fourth year with the district. Tenure is not granted until the fifth year.

Staff writer Harry Hitzeman contributed to this report.

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