Wethersfield principal on leave after arrest at Walmart - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Wethersfield principal on leave after arrest at Walmart

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John Bean (Hartford police) John Bean (Hartford police)

A Wethersfield elementary school principal was placed on leave on Monday after being arrested.

John Bean, who is the principal at Highcrest Elementary School in Wethersfield, was arrested at a Walmart on Saturday in Hartford.

He was charged with interfering with an officer and second-degree breach of peace.

"As always, our most important priority is the continuity of high quality instruction for our students, and we are taking steps to ensure that the high level of instruction at Highcrest School will continue during Mr. Bean’s leave," said Wethersfield School Superintendent Michael Emmett.

When students and parents talk about Bean, many of them sung him praises.

"Mr. Bean has always been so professional," said Samantha Griffin, a parent. "So nice, so gentle with the kids."

They said they were astonished to learn of the charges.

"When I heard he was arrested, I was shocked," Griffin said.

Police have not released the details of what happened.

"To hear anything about him being arrested is completely out of character and unexpected," Griffin said.

Bean was placed on leave while the legal process plays out.

"I think they're definitely making all the right choices," said Michael Gowdy, a parent. "Take him out of the school for right now figure out what's going on and then see if it's right to put him back."

Griffin agreed that placing Bean on leave was the correct call. However, she said she's a little concerned about how the situation will impact her children, who are in kindergarten and first grade. She said her children will miss him at school.

"If he's gone for an extended period of time the kids are gonna notice because he's so involved in the community," she said.

In the end, parents told Eyewitness News that they hope Bean is exonerated so they can go back to praising him.

"Hopefully this is just a big misunderstanding or something," Gowdy said. "They gotta have the legal system figure out what's going on and hopefully everything's ok and he can come back and continue being the principal here."

Bean is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.

To read the letter sent to parents, click here.

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