11 Providence school district staff members placed on leave - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

11 Providence school district staff members placed on leave

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Ten days into the Providence school year ABC 6 News has learned that 11 staff members in the district have been placed on leave.

Laura Hart, the Communications Director for the Providence Public Schools issued a statement on behalf of the district reading in part, "the majority of these leaves involve separate incidents that were not related."

The statement says the staff was placed on leave out of an abundance of caution for allegations of “inappropriate behavior or failure to report protocols.”

Hart tells ABC 6 News that the DCYF has reviewed and cleared 8 of people placed on leave meaning that the school system can now start their own investigation.

This news comes on the heels of the arrest the Principal of the Harry Kizirian Elementary School last month.

Violet LeMar is facing a misdemeanor charge for failing to report allegations from students that gym teacher James Duffy molested them.

Duffy was arrested back in June.

Last month the Public Safety Commissioner made it clear that other people could face charges for not reporting the allegations.

"We'll determine exactly who knew what and whether or not they violated the statute,” said Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare back in August.

The superintendent of schools said earlier this month that reporting protocols have been fixed in the wake of the growing investigation at Harry Kizirian.

"It was a question of reporting protocols that needed to be fixed and those are being fixed,” said Christopher Maher a few weeks back.

Because of the change in procedure Hart says more people have been placed on leave this fall.

An important point to note is that administrative leave does not constitute disciplinary action.

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