North Texas teacher stranded in Dubai

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on November 27, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 4 at 9:41 AM

DALLAS – After four years of teaching in Lewisville ISD, Allison Jech wanted more adventure in her life so she took a job teaching at a school in Dubai.

She signed on for a two year commitment, but two months in discovered the job was a disappointment. The trouble is, she now says she can't leave the country because the school is holding her work visa.

"I'm shocked,” said Jech. “I can't believe they flew me half way around the world to teach and they're treating me like this.”

Jech says her pay from the Dubai School of Modern Skills was late, the living conditions poor and she was mistreated treated by some co-workers.            

Hoping to fly back to Texas, Jech packed up and went to the airport.

"I went through the first set of gates to get home and when I gave them my passport the last time at immigration, they refused to let me leave because my visa wasn't in my passport,” she said.

Jech says her employer is holding that all-important visa and will not give it back, meaning she can't leave and she can't work. The same is also true for two colleagues who also quit. Nancy Smith, a teacher from Canada, says the school forced her to also turn in her passport in order to be paid.

"Eventually, I decided I need the money because I have bills to pay and I have to feed myself so I gave them passport and they still didn't give me my full pay,” Smith said.

All three teachers have filed a complaint against the Dubai School of Modern Skills, at the Dubai Ministry of Labor, without resolution. So, for now, they're far from home, without jobs as their money runs out.

"I just want to come back to America, but I don't want to give up on my dream of international teaching, but right now I'd just like to be back home in Texas,” Jech said.

News 8 called and e-mailed the school, but did not hear back from Dubai, where it is currently the middle of the night.

The U.S. Department of State provided a statement to News 8: “The U.S. Consulate General in Dubai is providing consular assistance and monitoring this case. Due to privacy considerations, we cannot provide further information.”

Email dschechter@wfaa.com

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