Three teachers and two school administrators in hot water over sex scandal
Three high school teachers have been arrested in New Jersey for having inappropriate sexual relations with students. Two school administrators face charges for allegedly covering up the scandal.
Teachers Jeff Logandro, Daniel Michielli, and Nick Martinelli allegedly were engaged in sexual activity and other misconduct that occurred from November 2011- June 2012, according to USA Today.
The Principal, Catherine DePaul, and Vice Principal, Jernee Kollock, were told of the activities, but were more worried about protecting the teachers.
“It’s obvious there existed a culture at Triton High School whereby teachers thought they could get by with improper relationships with their students and administrators turned a blind eye to evidence of these relationships’ existence,” according to Prosecutor Warren Faulk.
“School policy prohibits teachers from socializing with students outside of school and communicating by phone or by text message, yet these teachers openly did both,” said the prosecutor’s office.
“It is alleged that throughout the past school year, the defendants took a trip to the beach with the victims and exchanged sexually explicit text messages.”
According to NBC News, Michielli, 27, is charged with official misconduct, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal sexual conduct.
Martinelli, 28, is charged with official misconduct that involves an 18-year-old.
Lagandro, 32, is charged with official misconduct, criminal sexual contact, and endangering the welfare of a child.
The authorities were tipped off when a student, not one of the victims, had told a substitute teacher that teachers were “hooking up” with students. The teacher then told DePaul.
Prosecutors say that DePaul met with the student and had her write an account of what the student had heard and DePaul asked Kollock, to help the student write a statement but making the statement seem less serious.
DePaul had also learned of the teacher and victim going to Ocean City but the teacher was just reprimanded.
Neither person had contacted the authorities. DePaul now states that she wishes she would have been more concerned for the students and not the teachers.
All five are due in court on October 11.