POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Polk County teacher was fired after she admitted to faking, for an entire year, that she and her father were dying so she could skip class.
An investigation shows she also accused a fellow teacher of trying to kill her and that she was supposedly ambushed by armed men on campus.
Just three months after Ashley Barker started teaching, the emails and lies began.
In November 2011, she wrote an email about leaving sick for possible kidney stones. Later that month, she wrote an email about a cyst that needed shrinking.
By January 2012, she told the principal her body was shutting down and that she had a brain infection.
Nearly 120 emails later, and dozens of sick days, the first grade teacher said she was dying and wasn't going to make it through the night.
One teacher, Vivian Socorro, spotted her at Legoland when she was supposedly home dying.
After a miraculous recovery, Barker then told the principal her dad was dying of heart problems.
Reports show she kept up the lies for a year, and missed 35 days of work.
Barker may have gotten away with her fabricated story until she forced district investigators to open an assault investigation January 2013 when she accused another teacher of threatening to kill her.
The next week, she said two armed masked men ambushed her in the school parking lot and also threatened to kill her if she reported that teacher again.
Sheriff's Office investigators said there was no evidence to support either story.
When officials confronted Barker, they also showed her a stack of emails she sent about her dying story.
Barker came clean and said neither she nor her father were dying.
She said she had been sitting at home the entire time.
Barker is fighting her termination. Channel 9 has been unable to get in touch with her or her attorney and haven't heard back.
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