Principal, teacher at Hartford magnet school placed on leave

Principal and teacher on leave after an "alleged incident" took place at Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker. (WFSB)

Staff members at a Hartford magnet school were placed on leave after an investigation.

Parents told Eyewitness News that they received notification from the school that Principal Lindsey Thompson and an unidentified teacher were placed on leave after an "alleged incident" took place at Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker.

Few details were released about the "alleged incident." However, the superintendent's office said no students were "at risk at this time."

Mariana Diaz said she got an automated call from Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez on Thursday afternoon.

"That the principal of the school had gotten put on administrative leave, and it was a serious matter," Diaz said about the automated call.

Parents told Eyewitness News had the "alleged incident" had to do with improper reporting of abuse. The administration said the "alleged incident" is now a "police matter."

The Hartford Public Schools District came under fire for improper reporting of abuse earlier this year.

An action plan in response to a report from the Office of the Child Advocate was deployed by the Hartford Public Schools in recent months. That report said the following items: training of mandated reporters was inadequate school employees who engaged in misconduct were not effectively held accountable Children with disabilities were vulnerable to possible abuse and neglect.While the school department wouldn't elaborate on the details of the incident at Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker, they did address concerns surrounding the OCA concerns. "In collaboration with partner agencies including the OCA, the District has revised mandated reporter training compliance and informed staff about the resulting disciplinary action for failure to comply with our moral and statutory obligations. The District has also implemented the 'Tell Someone'safety campaign for students, staff, families, and community organizations along with the Department of Children and Families’ child safety messaging. In September, the District agreed to terms with an Independent Monitor to oversee and render accountability as we change our practices, procedures, and culture to assure that all students are safe in our schools," the Hartford Public Schools District said in a statement on Friday. Parents, as well as school staff, were notified about this incident through meetings with Central Office leadership on Friday morning.

Parents told Eyewitness News they want to see the schools held accountable.

"I want answers, but hopefully they'll send out an email or call again with updates about it," Diaz said.

There was no further comment by the Hartford Public Schools District. Eyewitness News reached out to police on Friday morning about this incident and they told Channel 3 to reach out to the Mayor's office.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our students, and any allegations of this kind must be taken very seriously. Hartford Public Schools has placed two individuals on leave pending an internal investigation. I have spoken personally to Chief Rovella about this issue and the Hartford Police Department’s Special Investigations Division is conducting an investigation as well," Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said in a statement on Friday.

For a link to the flyer handed to parents by the Hartford Public Schools District, click here.

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