Superintendent Addresses Investigations Into Alleged Staff Abuse & Misconduct At Wildwood & Middle School

Below is a letter sent out by Superintendent Brand on Wednesday, June 16, 2021:

Dear WPS Parents/Guardians & Families,

I am writing to update you on allegations of child abuse/neglect brought forth against Wilmington Public School (WPS) staff in recent months and to provide you with as much information as I can at the current time about those allegations and the steps WPS is taking to ensure a safe learning environment for all of our students.

As I outlined earlier this month, in May the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) was notified of allegations against staff at the Wildwood School. We placed the staff in question on administrative leave as soon as we were made aware of those claims. We also engaged an outside attorney to conduct an independent investigation for the district. We recently learned from DCF that some of the claims have been supported; the independent investigation we commissioned remains ongoing.

Last week, we became aware of a separate series of allegations of misconduct by a staff member at Wilmington Middle School. That staff member has also been placed on administrative leave pending a DCF investigation.

Let me be very clear: the allegations in each of these cases are wholly unacceptable, counter to the values of WPS and will not be tolerated. All of our students, faculty and staff deserve to study and work in a safe environment. Any conduct of the type alleged will be investigated thoroughly and, if warranted following those investigations, met with the appropriate discipline and/ or consequences.

Out of respect for all those involved and based on legal requirements, we are not able to discuss the specifics of these cases. However, we do wish to state unequivocally that any student or family who comes forward with allegations of misconduct, harassment or abuse will have those allegations investigated with the thoroughness and seriousness that they deserve.

We are continuing to examine our internal policies to ensure our training, handbooks and reporting procedures are in line with best practices for student safety. Through this ongoing examination of our practices, including our staff’s roles as mandatory reporters, we are committed to maintaining a high level of oversight, responsibility, and discipline. If you would like more information on these policies, they can be found on the WPS web site in our Annual Mandated Training 2020-21 manual.

While these are separate situations, we understand that they can be upsetting. We are prepared to provide additional emotional support services. If you or a family member is in need of such support, please contact Christine Murray (christine.murray@wpsk12.com), WPS Coordinator of Behavioral Health and Social Emotional Support. If you are aware of an incident or situation, past or present, that requires our attention, please contact Tracy Ingersoll (tracy.ingersoll@wpsk12.com) in the Superintendent’s Office.

Thank you for your understanding and support. We will not allow anything to deter us from providing a safe, healthy environment for Wilmington students. Student safety will always remain our top priority.

Sincerely,
Glenn Brand, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
978-694-6000

EDITOR’S NOTE

A Wilmington Middle School sixth grade girl told Channel 7 News that a male staff member would call her “pretty” and tell her he thought they had a “close relationship.” The student also said the staff member would often touch the hair of many of her friends. Read more HERE.

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