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Harlem High School Teachers, Staff In Hot Water Over Spa Day

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Some dozen Harlem high school teachers and staff are in hot water after they had a spa day while they were on the clock.

Department of Education officials say it happened on January 30, which was a conference day, meaning students had the day off but teachers were supposed to spend the full day engaging in professional development.

"That's not educational, and we're mixing the two," Deborah Smith told CBS2's Dave Carlin.

"Use it to further your career," Bronx resident Willie Kelly said.

Sources at Harlem Renaissance High School say the school's principal, Nadac Zeimer, booked the spa day. They say he arranged the trip to Spa Castle, without using school funds, as a way to reward the male and female staffers and to give them a bonding experience.

Now, Zeimer has been pulled from his post and reassigned to another school.

The Department of Education released a statement, saying "the goal of training teachers and staff is better instruction in the classroom, and we have referred this matter for investigation."

Some parents told Carlin if the administrators wanted to have a spa day, they should have done it on their own time -- when they're not being paid by the district.

"That bothers me, because I'm very concerned about the education system now. So I feel like we need to take a lot of focus on the teachers and how they are spending their admin days, instead of going to a spa, because what are they really achieving there?" said Angelica Halbert, of Bushwick, Brooklyn.

But other parents asked, what's the big deal?

"They could have been in the spa talking about what they are going to do tomorrow," said Patrica Kendly.

It's unclear where Zeimer has been reassigned.

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