A group of Nashoba Regional High School parents is seeking an independent investigation into the school district’s handling of criminal charges filed against a teacher accused of inappropriate actions with a student.
They are also asking that Superintendent Brooke Ann Clenchy be placed on administrative leave while the investigation is conducted, according to a statement released Friday by Nashoba Parents Demanding Action.
“The Nashoba Regional School District is small - and Superintendent Clenchy is accountable for its administration,” parent Ann Marie Hershberger said in the statement.
The group has launched an online petition to have people sign in support of its position.
The action came one day after Clenchy announced that Nashoba Principal Paul Di Domenico has been placed on paid leave, while a law firm hired by the Bolton-based district conducts an investigation.
“This is not a disciplinary action,” against Di Domenico, Clenchy said in a statement.
The review will look at the district’s actions in July and August, before criminal charges were filed against former teacher Dorothy Veracka, the district said in a statement.
The parents group is accusing the school district of not following the law when it first learned of allegations against the teacher, whom it does not identify.
School officials did not notify local police or the state Department of Children & Families as required by federal law. The teacher also should have been suspended pending an investigation, according to the release.
“Instead, the accused teacher in this case was allowed to return to school in September — an administrative decision that, in this context, is both outrageous and illegal,” the statement said.
Nashoba officials said the law firm of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey and Lehane, has done previous work for the district, is conducting the investigation, according to the statement.
But the parents group is calling for a law firm with no ties to the school district to conduct the review.
Murphy Hesse, Toomey and Lehane “ . . . is neither impartial nor acceptable.” the group said in its statement.
Arthur Murphy, a senior partner in the firm, said in a statement that he appreciates the parents’ concerns, but said the firm will be impartial.
“While we are retained by the school district, we work independently of the school committee and the administration in conducting the review and determining the steps to be taken to facilitate a comprehensive, neutral review warranted by the circumstances,” Murphy said in the statement released Friday.