Andy Baldwin Hot For Teacher; Texas School District Not
One of the reasons The Bachelor star Andy Baldwin kept Amber Alchalabi around as one of his nine remaining bachelorettes is because she loves (and works with) children and he's looking to start a family.
But it appears the 23-year-old fourth-grade teacher from Sugar Land, Tex., is in hot water for leaving her class when it needed her most - as well as being dishonest about why she left.
Several parents of students now in Amber Alchalabi's fourth-grade class at Colony Bend Elementary School have expressed their displeasure that the teacher misled them as to why she was taking a month off, Houston's KHOU-TV reports.
In addition to telling the principal she took a month off to "care for a sick aunt" instead of coming clean about traveling to Los Angeles to film the 10th season of The Bachelor, she also gone during a key time in her students' academic year.
"They were in the middle of studying for the [Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)] test. While she was gone they took their writing TAKS test," fourth-grade parent Raquel Flores told KHOU.
Parent Lesley White said "kids are being exploited" so Amber Alchalabi could try to find true love on The Bachelor.
According to the news station, administrators from Fort Bend Independent School District were apparently unaware about Alchalabi's absence during TAKS testing, though the principal signed-off on her leave of absence. A substitute was brought in.
Parents are also upset that the program - in a move that woud seem to indicate Alchalabi will survive at least until The Bachelor's traditional "hometown visits" episode - reportedly sent a crew to Colony Bend to shoot scenes at the school.
"I am incensed," White told KHOU. "[The Bachelor] is not appropriate whatsoever for 9 and 10-year-old children."
Following complaints from parents, the district launched an investigation.
"We believe the parents have some legitimate concerns," Mary Ann Simpson, spokeswoman for Fort Bend Independent School Department, told KHOU.
"We don't believe any ill intent was intended here, but we're certainly going to investigate it because we don't want anything like this to ever happen again."
In her defense, Alchalabi said she couldn't reveal the real reason why she was taking a leave of absence due to a confidentially agreement she signed with ABC.
"I cherish my position at Colony Bend Elementary School, holding it with the utmost degree of professionalism and integrity" Alchalabi wrote in an e-mail to KHOU on Wednesday.
"I apologize if my participation in The Bachelor created any issues or upset for the parents or my students, all of whom I adore."
We hope this blows over and that Amber enjoys continued success. We certainly prefer her to the likes of Peyton Wright. No offense, girl.