Greenfield Public Schools Greenfield Police investigating ‘unsafe’ conduct at 4 Corners

  • Recorder file photo The Discovery School at Four Corners.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Former Discovery School employee probed for alleged ‘unprofessional’ acts no longer works for school department

Recorder Staff

GREENFIELD — Police are investigating allegations of “unprofessional and unsafe conduct” by a former employee at the Discovery School at Four Corners, according to a letter sent to parents from Greenfield School Superintendent Jordana Harper on Feb. 25.

The nature of the employee’s conduct was unspecified in Harper’s letter, but she noted that it happened on Feb. 22 and that the person no longer works for the school department.

“A full investigation has been launched to determine the accuracy of these allegations, in cooperation with the Greenfield Police Department and all appropriate parties,” she wrote. “The individual is no longer associated with the Greenfield Public Schools, however, we will continue to follow up on this reported concern.”

Northwestern District Attorney spokeswoman Mary Carey declined to say whether the District Attorney’s Office has become involved in the investigation, citing official policy.

Harper noted that all of the department’s employees are mandated reporters to the state Department of Children and Families, which requires them to report any actions that may put children at risk, whether they’re alleged or substantiated.

All employees in the school department are subjected to a criminal background checks and must participate in the State Assigned Fingerprinting Identification System, a national fingerprint database.

“School staff have worked diligently with parents and guardians to provide notification of the situation,” Harper wrote. “Our educators are very mindful of the age and developmental needs of our young students and have helped to reassure them that they are safe at school.”

Harper said staff at Four Corners would be available to speak with students and provide additional support if requested.

In an later interview with The Recorder, Harper noted that the incident occurred within the school building and that it involved a part-time employee, but she could not divulge any details about how long the employee worked for the school or their position, how many students may have been affected by or involved in the incident, or the nature of the employee’s conduct, citing the ongoing investigation.

“Regardless of how an incident comes to light, whether through school staff or families, we take it very seriously. We hope to have this resolved quickly,” she said.

Police Chief Robert Haigh said he believes the incident was isolated in nature at this point. It was reported to the police through the school resource officer.

You can reach Tom Relihan at: trelihan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264 On Twitter, follow @RecorderTom