An Albuquerque mother says her daughter's elementary school principal banned her from school grounds for the way she smells. Kerri Mascareno was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in August, and while she's undergoing chemotherapy to shrink her tumor, she's also struggling with the administration at Tierra Antigua Elementary.
According to Mascareno, the school's principal, Robert Abney, told her last week that she could no longer visit the school:
"He just said he knows this is going to hurt my feelings and he understands where I'm coming from because his mother had breast cancer and she had the same exact smell and I can no longer be in the school and that with me being in the school that I made his employees ill," she said.
She claims that when she moved outside, the principal went to his window and told her to move farther away. "He just said that he would have to ask me to sit in my car because he could smell me through the window," Mascareno said.
According to KOB4, Abney refused to answer questions Wednesday and directed all questions to the school district's spokespeople. But Mascareno showed the local news an email from Abney telling her she would be allowed to go to the school's upcoming Thanksgiving lunch if she and her daughter sat in Abney's office instead of the cafeteria. After reporters questioned the principal, Mascareno received a Wednesday evening phone call saying she could eat in the cafeteria.
But the Thanksgiving lunch was held on Thursday and Mascareno decided not to attend, instead choosing to spend the day at home with her daughter Lynsey. "It's precious," Mascareno said. "Every little time is precious being with them."