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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Update on NY teacher skips school for wrestling career

Credit: Yahoo NewsBy Carole Vaporean
Fri Jul 1, 2:07 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City school teacher apologized and resigned on Friday after admitting he pursued a career as a professional wrestler when he had told his boss he was on leave to care for a sick relative.

Matthew Kaye, a social studies teacher at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Queens, had his mother call in sick for him last Dec. 16, according to a report issued this week by the New York City School District's Commissioner of Investigation.

When he returned to school after winter break, the report said, he informed the assistant principal that he had gone to California to care for his sick sister.

But the teacher's Web site revealed he had another life as a wrestler named Matt Striker.

"I recently realized that dream on Dec. 16 when I touched down in Tokyo to start my inaugural tour for the Zero One Company. I cannot express in words what this tour has meant to me as a person and as a professional wrestler," the Web site said.

Again in February, Kaye used a doctor's note as an excuse for a no-show at school, but his Web site entries for those dates showed photos of his appearance at a Pro Wrestling World Smackdown in Philadelphia.

On Friday, Kaye apologized on his Matt Striker Web site. He said he had resigned as a teacher and offered to pay for the days he was in Japan.

He insisted his students had received excellent instruction.

"Look at the facts, God gave me gifts and I choose to use them to touch peoples lives. I choose to make the world better by entertainment and education," he said.

Kaye did not return telephone calls for comment.

The School District's report recommended banning Kaye from future employment in New York City public schools.

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