Report expected about NMHS teacher
Harrasment charge against Flanagan under scrutiny
The final report on the investigation into a harassment complaint against a popular New Milford High School teacher was expected to be completed late this week.
Superintendent of Schools JeanAnn Paddyfote offered no hints Dec. 22 to the conclusion related to the paid suspension of Stephen Flanagan, a 26-year social studies teacher who was suspended with pay Dec. 8.
"We're just waiting for the conclusion of the investigation,'' Mrs. Paddyfote said.
Mr. Flanagan was not returning messages requesting comment.
The NMHS veteran teacher was placed on leave after a fellow staff member filed a formal complaint of sexual or other harassment against the teacher after he missed one meeting and was quite late to another, because he was meeting with a student, according to the complaint.
Due to student confidentiality, much of the complaint is blacked out. It is therefore unclear what behavior was observed and whether Mr. Flanagan was said to be meeting with one student on repeated occasions, or more than one.
The gender and age of the student or students also are not provided, and the identitty of the complaining staff member was not disclosed in the complaint.
Any disciplinary action would be based on the findings. NMHS students past and present, as well as some parents and colleagues, have expressed outrage over Mr. Flanagan's suspension.
Many students have posted on various social media sites that Mr. Flanagan is a quality educator and dismiss any suggestion he could have done anything inappropriate with a student. Several have demanded that the accuser be identified.
The school district posted a job opening Dec. 16 for an "anticipated long-term substitute'' for Mr. Flanagan's AP history and Modern America classes.