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Erardi Invites Calls On Former Assistant Principal

Published: April 15, 2017

Newtown Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr said he was notified by the media Friday morning April 14 about allegations surfacing in a report generated and released by Choate Rosemary Hall boarding school about a former Newtown High School administrator.

In a statement released to The Newtown Bee, Dr Erardi said only through the media did he and his staff become “aware of alleged inappropriate sexual misconduct by former NHS Assistant Principal Jaime Rivera while he was an employee at the Choate School 18 years ago.”

The Associated Press is reporting that Mr Rivera, a former Spanish teacher at Choate Rosemary Hall, was fired amid sexual assault allegations by two students in 1999. He was able to continue his education career for the next 18 years at several other schools that were not notified of the allegations.

The details surfaced in a report released Thursday — prepared by a former prosecutor and other investigators hired by Choate — that includes allegations from 24 former students of misconduct between 1963 and 2010.

Rivera is among 12 former faculty and staff members named in the Choate report. He was fired by Choate shortly after the alleged acts, but went on to teach or be an administrator at schools including Henry Abbott Technical High School in Danbury; Harrison High School in Harrison, N.Y.; Newtown High School; and Wamogo Regional High School in Litchfield.

According to the report, Rivera resigned as principal of Wamogo on April 6, after having been placed on leave last month after the school district’s superintendent was informed by Choate officials about the allegations.

Choate officials did not notify police, state child welfare officials, or other schools of the allegations involving the 12 faculty and staff, school officials and the report said. After confirming allegations, school officials handled the cases “internally and quietly,” the report said.

Report investigators said they did not analyze whether Choate officials broke any state laws in not reporting the allegations to the state or police. The report noted, however, that many students did not report the misconduct after it allegedly took place and school officials only learned of the allegations years later.

“Mr Rivera left NHS at the start of the 2016-17 school year as he was appointed the principal of Wamogo High School,” Dr Erardi confirmed. “If any parent, student, or staff member would like to further discuss this issue with me, my office would welcome the call.”

Associated Press content is used in this report.

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