Cohasset Middle/High School principal placed on leave

COHASSET, MASS. (WHDH) - The principal of Cohasset Middle/High School has been placed on leave, school officials say.

Carolyn Connolly is now on paid administrative leave, and the Cohasset school district has commissioned an independent administrative investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding allegations brought to the attention of the district of alleged sexual misconduct by a teacher, according to Cohasset Superintendent of Schools Louise L. Demas.

In late August, Cohasset police issued a criminal complaint against a Cohasset Middle School teacher concerning disturbing allegations of inappropriate conduct toward a student. Jeffrey Knight, who has been employed at Cohasset Middle School as a STEM teacher since August 2011, has been on administrative leave since the start of that investigation.

The school district has hired an independent investigator not affiliated with the schools, to conduct an administrative, independent review to determine what, if any, rules violations or performance failures by Cohasset Public Schools staff occurred.

“I have concerns, and I share in the concerns of our community members. I want to hear from parents in our community,” Demas said. “I think everyone understands that there are certain things I cannot speak about due to the ongoing criminal investigation, but I want to make clear that I intend to take the findings of the independent investigation seriously, and I am prepared to make the necessary decisions to ensure all procedures all strictly followed for the benefit and safety of all our Cohasset students.My office has cooperated fully with the police investigation and the Norfolk District’s Attorney’s Office.”

Prior to the beginning of the school year, the district conducted its periodic training of all employees, including bus drivers, cafeteria workers, teachers and administrators, on mandatory reporting procedures.

On Oct. 12, all faculty and administrators will have a full day of professional development with the assistance of the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Children and Families and Massachusetts Advocates for Children.

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