Stamford police say their investigation has revealed that the Stamford High School principal and one of the schools vice principals knew about a sexual relationship between a 32-year-old female teacher and a male student since at least January. But, cops say, the school leaders did not report the relationship to the Board of Education until June.
This morning, in Stamford Superior Court, The school's principal, Donna Valentine, 62, and one of the school's vice principals, Roth Noordin, 59, were arraigned on charges that they failed to report an inappropriate relationship to proper authorities.
"There was no cover up here," said Mark Sherman, Valentine's lawyer. "We are going to look closely at the police reports and the witness statements we're going to piece together our own timeline based on our investigation."
The arrest warrant affidavit says the guardian of the alleged victim met with the principal, in February or March, to express her concern that the teacher, Danielle Watkins, who was arrested in July, regularly picked up and dropped off the student at home.
The arrest warrant affidavit also stated that Nordin first heard that the student-teacher relationship was sexual on June 19. But, she admitted, she did not inform the Department of Children and Families or police at that time.
"Teachers and administrators are mandated reporters," noted Jodie Simek, the mother of a junior at Stamford High School who had Watkins as an English teacher.
Connecticut law requires administrators or school staff to report allegations of neglect, abuse or endangerment to either law enforcement or DCF within 12 hours of learning of allegations.
Jennifer Midy, a Stamford High School senior, said,"I think that's kind of strange because, I'm young, and all, and I don't understand what it means be an adult and be a principal. But, if I had a job as hers, such a high authority, I would want to keep my job by doing the right thing.
Both Valentine and Nordin are due back in court on Oct. 21.