CT superintendent placed on leave for not reporting suspected child abuse

Posted at 12:18 PM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-07 14:18:33-04

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    Suffield, CT (WFSB) — The Superintendent of Schools in Suffield has been placed on paid administrative leave after they said she failed to report an act of suspected child abuse.

Members on the Board of Education made the decision to place Superintendent of Schools, Karen Berasi on leave pending an ongoing investigation on Monday night at 6:30 p.m. at a special meeting.

Berasi is under investigation over reports that she and other top school officials failed to report a suspected case of child abuse. State law requires such officials to alert the Department of Children and Families.

Board Member Kendra Wiesel told Channel 3 that the decision of the Board was taken under strong consideration.

“We want to be very clear that in doing so the board has not reached any conclusions whether Ms. Berasi engaged in any improper conduct,” said Wiesel.

However, many parents voiced their opinions at the meeting.

“Suffield has one of the best public school systems in the state and every year we are going down a little bit further in the pole so it concerns me because I moved here for that reason,” said parent, Gretchen Giacchetta.

Employees who work under Berasi, they told told Channel 3 the last week was tough, as they said they see a strong leader in Berasi and stand by their Superintendent.

“She’s tough. There’s no doubt. She’s strong willed. she’s got a strong personality and she says it like it is. It does rub some people The wrong way but sometimes leadership does that. It’s not necessarily a bad quality,” said ELA curriculum leader and teacher, Jeanie Rose.

Online, a petition is circulating with hundreds of signatures that suggest otherwise, with some ready to see Berasi ousted.

Police said the investigation dates back to May. No other details about it were released.

The Board unanimously voted in Michelle Zawawi as Interim Superintendent. Zawawi had been the Rockville High School’s Principal before taking a job last month as Suffield’s assistant superintendent.

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