Wethersfield principal resigns amid investigation of photographing girls

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WETHERSFIELD — An elementary school principal has resigned two months after he was suspected of taking photographs of little girls with his cellphone at a Wal-Mart store.

John Bean was the principal of Highcrest Elementary School in Wethersfield. He was placed on administrative leave after his arrest in September. Parents learned about his resignation Wednesday in an email from the school district.

The 46-year-old Bean, who is a father of two, was charged with interfering with police and breach of peace after a store security worker and a police officer approached him in the Hartford store, located at 495 Flatbush Ave.

Employees thought Bean was acting suspiciously and monitored him, thinking he might be preparing to steal merchandise. While under observation, police said, they observed him taking pictures of children, “especially when they were not in the immediate vicinity of their parents.” He appeared to be following girls between 6 and 8 years old.

When the loss-prevention employee approached him, police said, he resisted.

Bean previously worked at schools in Tolland and South Windsor, where he was teacher of the year in 2004 and served as assistant principal for a time.

With reporting by the Associated Press.