Stamford High School terminates principal for covering up student-teacher relationship

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Donna Valentine

STAMFORD–A principal has been fired for her role in covering up the sexual relationship between a student and his teacher.

The Board of Education in Stamford voted 8-0 to terminate Donna Valentine.

Valentine and the assistant principal, Roth Nordin, were arrested in October 2014 for not reporting the inappropriate sexual relationship between English teacher Danielle Watkins, 32, and a 17-year-old male student. Police have also said that she provided that student and another student marijuana.

The male student told police that teachers and administrators knew of his relationship with Watkins as far back as December 2013. And, he says, school officials were also aware that Watkins threatened him with a failing grade if he tried to break off the relationship.

A third administrator, Assistant Principal Angela Thomas-Graves, was also terminated for her role. Another administrator resigned, and a fifth was suspended.

Valentine says she’ll fight the termination.

Valentine pleaded not guilty October 2, 2014 to criminal charges of failing to alert authorities. Both she and Nordin ended up receiving accelerated rehabilitation in November 2014. Defendants who successfully complete the program have their criminal records expunged.

Watkins pleaded guilty on December 4, 2014 to second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. She was sentenced to 10 years in jail, suspended after five years, with 15 years of probation.

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