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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Police investigating alleged assault by teacher

By James Tinley
Register Staff
— A elementary school teacher is the subject of a police investigation after authorities received a complaint that she assaulted a student, police confirmed Monday.
Deputy Chief Steve Fournier said the Milford Police Youth Bureau launched an investigation after receiving a complaint late last week about an Orchard Hills Elementary School teacher.
Fournier would not elaborate on the severity or any specifics of the alleged attack other than to say that there were “marks” on the child’s body. No charges have been filed and authorities did not release the teacher’s name.
“We’re in the early stages of the investigation, basically to determine if something happened or not,” Fournier said.
Police have begun interviewing witnesses, but have not yet interviewed the teacher. Fournier said it was normal procedure to begin an investigation whenever receiving a complaint of this nature.
Orchard Hills Elementary School serves pupils from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade and has about 40 faculty members, according the school’s Web site.
Board of Education members confirmed they are aware of the issue, but declined to comment further because board policy prohibits them from speaking on personnel matters.
School officials also declined to comment. School and police officials would not say if the teacher is continuing to work at the elementary school while the investigation is pending. Superintendent of Schools Harvey Polanski did not return calls for comment.
Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. was notified of the investigation by police and said, “Student safety is our utmost priority and there are no students that are at harm at this time.” But he declined to say if teacher was still working with children.
School board member James Santa Barbara, D-5, who is a former 35-year city teacher, said he cannot recall a similar allegation ever being lodged.
“This is not the ordinary thing,” Santa Barbara said. “This is unusual.”
James Tinley can be reached at or 876-3030. Visit the All About Milford blog at Blog Central,



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