A schools superintendent in Connecticut has been placed on administrative leave amid allegations of harassment and intimidation among school administrators.
In Middlesex County, the Middletown Board of Education agreed in a special meeting on Monday, Oct. 18 to grant Superintendent Michael T. Conner his request to go on leave as they plan to investigate the claims, granting him a leave of absence, effective immediately.
The move comes following several school unions calling on city officials to take action following multiple anonymous complaints about harassment and intimidation.
According to reports, more than a dozen complaints were filed by former employees within the district, some of whom claimed that previous complaints have been brought up and ignored.
“Numerous past and present members have come to us with serious concerns about repeated harassment, intimidation and retaliation by members of Central Office Senior Management,” a union leader said on Monday.
“Our members no longer feel safe expressing these concerns through the channels provided through the Board of Education and City of Middletown.”
Mayor Benjamin Florsheim, Majority Leader Councilman Eugene Nocera, and Minority Leader Councilman Philip Pessina issued a joint statement about the allegations following recent meetings.
“The allegations we received about conduct at Middletown Public Schools are deeply upsetting and totally inconsistent with Middletown’s values—as a city and as a school system. They warrant a full, fair, and independent investigation as to their veracity.
“We urge the Board of Education to take immediate steps to ensure such an investigation is initiated and anticipate full cooperation by all parties involved so that our outstanding educators can continue their critical mission of providing a quality education to all Middletown students.”
In a statement, a district spokesperson confirmed that the Board of Education approved the move.
“The Board acknowledges that the Superintendent of Schools has requested a leave of absence, effective immediately. In light of the Superintendent’s request for an immediate leave of absence, the Board authorizes (a) review and grant the Superintendent’s request leave of absence, and assume the duties of the Superintendent while the Superintendent is unavailable due to leave status, effective immediately.”
Conner’s absence will continue until the Board of Education votes to permit him to return to duty or appoints a new acting Superintendent.
“During the period of the Superintendent’s leave, the Superintendent is not authorized to act on behalf of the Middletown Board of Education or the Middletown Public Schools,” they added.
This is a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.
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