NHS teacher placed on leave

Police investigating allegations of ‘inappropriate relationships with students’

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck police are investigating allegations that a Naugatuck High School teacher had “inappropriate relationships with students.”

Superintendent of Schools Sharon Locke said high school administrators took immediate action after the allegations were reported and the teacher was placed on administrative leave with pay on Wednesday.

“The safety of our students is of the utmost importance,” Locke said. “We take these matters very, very seriously.”

Citing the active investigation, school and police officials declined to release or discuss details, including the identity of the teacher, whether the teacher is a man or woman, the nature of the alleged inappropriate relationships and who reported the allegations.

Naugatuck High School Principal John Harris referred to a letter he sent Thursday addressed to Naugatuck High School families and declined to comment further.

In the letter, Harris states a teacher at the high school has been placed on leave after the administration received reports alleging inappropriate relationships with students. The message states “the high school administration swiftly contacted the Department of Children and Families and the Naugatuck Police Department.”

“The safety of our students is our highest priority,” Harris said in the letter. “We want you to know that we take these matters seriously, will take appropriate action as the investigation unfolds, and will communicate further information as permitted.

“We have shared a similar message with our teachers and staff, and have advised them to remind students having conversations regarding rumors and gossip that those conversations can violate the privacy of their peers, may lead to false information being perpetuated, and are best avoided. We also have our school counselors and social workers ready to assist students who need it.”

DCF spokesman Gary Kleeblatt said he couldn’t comment on whether the department is investigating a specific case. He said the department takes all reports seriously and, if an incident is reported to DCF by school officials, the department will conduct an investigation and share the results with the school district.

In a press release, Lt. Colin McAllister said police were contacted on Wednesday and detectives are investigating the allegations. There is no other information for release at this time, the release states.

Locke said the school district is doing its own internal investigation in collaboration with the police department.