November 15, 2013

An Albuquerque mother with Stage 4 breast cancer recently told her local news station that her daughter's elementary school principal banned her from school grounds because of the way she smells.

According to Kerri 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.

Mascareno says 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," she said.

KOB4 reports that Abney refused to apologize or answer their questions Wednesday, and directed them to the school district's spokespeople. Mascareno also showed the local news an email from Abney telling her she would be allowed to attend the school's upcoming Thanksgiving dinner if she and her daughter sat in his office instead of the cafeteria. After reporters questioned the principal, Mascareno received a phone call saying she could eat in the cafeteria.

The school's Thanksgiving lunch was on Thursday, but Mascareno decided not to attend, instead choosing to spend the day at home with her daughter Lynsey. Mascareno explained that she is "really hurt by what happened" and didn't want to be around that negativity.

A petition is now circulating calling for Abney's resignation.

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