NEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) - Changes are being made in the New London School District after the arrest of a middle school employee, and four other staff members were placed on leave.

Corriche Gaskin, 35, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student over the course of several years, according to police.

He was listed as a school 'climate specialist' at the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School.

He was terminated from his position on Monday.

The student told investigators that the relationship started when she was 13.

The sexual assaults happened at the end of the 2017-17 school year, according to an arrest warrant.

Police said more arrests could be made.

On Tuesday, school officials confirmed that four other staff members have been placed on administrative leave amid an investigation.

Those staff members are Melissa Rodriguez, Laquana Sheppard, Alison Burdick, and Lawrence Washington.

Police said Gaskin has been accused of having a relationship with at least two school employees and another student as well.

He had been transferred to the Harbor School, however the reason for that is unknown.

Gaskin was a school employee since 2015. As a climate specialist, the district said, he directly dealt with students, staff and families.

He has since been removed from the classroom and is being held on a $500,000 bond.

While the investigation continues, the district said it is hosting a series of meeting with parents and providing a variety of support tools for students.

The Mayor of New London, Michael Passero, released a statement on the arrest saying: 

"Our community is understandably anguished by the alleged inappropriate actions of a few employees of our school system who are accused of conduct that betrayed the trust that was placed in them to safe guard and protect our children.

Our focus must be to reassure our children that they are our foremost priority. Since this situation was uncovered, our school leaders, using information from New London Police Department and DCF have taken aggressive measures to ensure the protection of the children in our schools. We will all be working very hard to regain our children’s trust and confidence. In time, as the investigation into this matter proceeds, we will examine our policies and procedures and implement any required changes.

It is essential at this moment to stand together and support our dedicated and hardworking detectives, educators and administrators. Their professional efforts on behalf of our children should not be diminished by the alleged actions of a few. The misconduct that has been alleged reflects the ethical and moral failings of the individuals involved. Perpetrators of this type of criminal and predatory misconduct, especially in a school setting, bear sole responsibility for their reprehensible behavior. This situation should not diminish the reputation of our dedicated administrators, staff and teachers.

Our superintendent, who has been on the job less than one year, deserves and requires the support of our entire community in her efforts to lead us from our current difficulties, which stem across many past years, and ensure that our educational system is stronger in the end. She has acted decisively since these allegations of staff misconduct were uncovered. She has listened to the community outrage. She immediately put safeguards in place and removed and reassigned staff as appropriate while the investigation continues. Once that investigation by the police and state agencies is complete, I am confident that she will provide a full accounting of the situation and deliver a plan to correct any identified shortfalls in policies and procedures.

Thanks to the commitment of our city officials, police, detectives, administrators, staff and teachers, with the support of our city, I am confident that the New London Public Schools will recover from the damage caused by a few individuals. Most importantly, in the face of this challenge, our commitment to our children remains steadfast."

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.