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New Haven teacher arrested for inappropriate conduct with student

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NEW HAVEN -- A New Haven teacher suspected of inappropriate conduct with a student appeared in court Thursday.

Kirvana Jones has been charged with sexual assault in the second degree and risk of injury to a minor.

On February 3, a student at the Engineering and Science University Magnet School in Hamden brought to light allegations of unprofessional conduct by a teacher involving a student and we now know Jones is that teacher. The student who made the report she had obtained some explicit pictures that Jones texted to a male student, who is the alleged victim.

Jones, who teaches math at the school, was removed from the classroom last week amid those allegations.

On Feb. 5, police say they contacted Jones, who said she would meet with them for an interview, but then never showed up or called. Shortly after the no-show, according to the warrant, police received a call from Jones' attorney.

She was arrested Wednesday night.

"This is the fastest rush to judgment I have ever seen from the police department," said Diane Polan, who is Jones’ lawyer. "From reading the warrant, it appears to me that they've left out a lot of important investigation."

Polan, who has represented clients in similar cases, says, "The worst thing is, in an allegation like this, it ruins your career, even when you are subsequently acquitted," which she expects Jones will be.

School superintendent Garth Harries said last week the alleged inappropriate conduct involved a high school aged student. Harries said in a statement that Jones is presumed innocent but the arrest warrant includes very serious allegations, that if true, break the fundamental and professional responsibility carried by every educator.

Based on the police investigation, no other teachers or students are involved in the alleged misconduct at this time.

Neither the New Haven Police Department nor New Haven public schools would comment on this case. The schools say it's a personnel matter. Police say they don't discuss sexual assaults.

According to the warrant, when police initially interviewed the alleged victim he denied having a relationship with Jones. However, he did admit to having communicated with her via phone or text about homework.

The 16-year-old also initially denied exchanging any explicit photographs with Jones.

When the alleged victim’s guardian came to the school and asked him with police present if he had sex with the teacher, the boy said yes.

He told police that, for the past two years, he had been communicating with Jones on a level that became "boyfriend and girlfriend." He said they had had sex at her New Haven apartment on December 2, two days before his 16th birthday.

He told police Jones seemed to be mad at him approximately two weeks after they had sex. He says she sent him a text saying “I can't believe I just did that."

When police obtained search warrant for her residence Monday, they located clothing items that were identical to those "worn in the photographs sent to the victim by Ms. Jones," according to the warrant.

One of the witnesses police interviewed told them he was present during a conversation in which Jones called the alleged victim "sloppy" and that he was "supposed to delete them," meaning the explicit photos.

It remains unclear if police have recovered any of the alleged texts beside the explicit photos between Jones and the alleged victim.

Prior to Jones' court appearance Thursday, Polan expressed her displeasure with the fact that someone, either from the school system or New Haven police, alerted a media outlet that they were about to make an arrest at Jones home without first letting her, the attorney, know.

"That, to me, is totally inappropriate behavior on the part of the police," said Polan.

According to Jones' bio on the schools website, she is a graduate of the University of Hartford and has been teaching at the Magnet School since 2014. She is a New Haven native that attended New Haven Public Schools.

Jones was released on a $50,000 court-set bond. Her next court date is February 29.

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