MADISON--Police and school officials are investigating allegations of sexual assault against a student in the Madison Public Schools.
The female suspect is described as a "veteran" teacher at Daniel Hand High School. Police say the assault occurred against a male student who is at least 16.
Sgt. Joseph Race said investigators are not sure what sort of sexual misconduct might have occurred, but are working on the specifics. They spent hours conducting interviews on school grounds on Wednesday.
Superintendent Thomas Scarice wrote in a joint statement with police that "protecting the welfare of our students is our highest priority and the district will fully cooperate with any criminal investigation."
Administrators reported the sexual misconduct to a school resource officer. Police told FOX CT they are not sure when the incident occurred or if it happened more than once.
The teacher is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Several students appeared to be surprised by the accusations against the educator.
"I don't believe it. I find it really hard to believe, honestly because I had her as a teacher and I find it very difficult to believe," said Lauren Brandau, a senior.
Kennedy Hye, another student said, "I guess I really didn't believe it at first but um, I don't know, it's not really my business."
D.J. Piccola isn't sure what to believe.
" He always had like Snapchats of her, not of her, but like, in room when there was like a class going on. I didn't really know what was happening but I just had like suspicions," the senior said.
Connecticut's Department of Children and Families is involved in the investigation.
No arrests have been made.
"It's the early part of the investigation. It started with allegations and we have to get to the bottom of those before any arrests can be made," said Race.
The Madison Board of Education released the following statement:
Board of Education members are aware of the disturbing allegations concerning a Daniel Hand High School teacher and, like all Madison residents, share their feelings of shock and dismay. As a school district and individual Board members, we value the safety and well-bearing of our students above all else. Immediately upon learning of this matter, Superintendent Scarice contacted both the Madison Police Department and the Department of Children and Families and the district is actively cooperating with both agencies on their investigations. In addition, the teacher in question was immediately placed on leave pending the investigation of these serious allegations, and instructed to have no contact with Madison schools and students.
Given that this is a matter of personnel and the Board of Education may need to hear and adjudicate this matter, Board of Education members cannot discuss the specifics of this case lest we be prevented from serving on a hearing panel and performing our function as a board of education. In addition, school officials must respect the confidentiality rights of our students and take care not to take any actions or make any statements that will compromise the ongoing investigations.
This unfortunate matter was met with a professional and swift response by the Superintendent and High School administration, and we are confident that we will continue to see a professional response by the school district going forward. The Madison Public Schools are a family, and it is as a family that we will confront and address this matter - caring for our children, holding staff members accountable where appropriate, and ensuring the safety of our students.