Principal and other employees at a New London middle school placed on leave
NEW LONDON — In a letter obtained by FOX61, the New London School District raised concerns about Principal Dr. Allison Burdick and how she handled confidential information at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School.
Three other employees, Melissa Rodriquez, Laquana Shepard, and Lawrence Washington were also placed on leave for unspecified reasons.
The actions come after new charges were revealed last week against 35-year-old Corriche Gaskin. FOX61 learned Tuesday that Gaskin has since been fired. She is accused of having inappropriate sexual relations with underage students, including a 13-year-old, and other staff members.
Gaskin is facing 8 felony counts including one sexual assault charge and illegal possession of child pornography.
On Wednesday, Mayor Michael Passero praised the superintendent, saying, “She has acted decisively since these allegations of staff misconduct were uncovered. She has listened to the community outrage. She immediately put safeguards in place and removed and reassigned staff as appropriate while the investigation continues.”
New London Police said the investigation into the school assaults has expanded in scope, although there have been no new arrests for the time being. At this point, they’re continuing to bring in individuals for questioning.
According to Gaskin’s arrest warrant, Gaskin asked a student to perform a sexual act and recorded it.
Gaskin worked as a Climate Specialist at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School.
According to the latest statement from the superintendent, the school district plans to continue to work with parents. They also say they are committed to continuing to create a safe environment for kids.
Burdick’s attorney, Jamie Sullivan, released the following statement:
“I cannot do anything to interfere with or impede this investigation. But my client is being maligned by vicious, false rumors in New London County and so I feel compelled to speak on her behalf to protect her good name and reputation.
Dr. Burdick had no involvement whatsoever with this predator. She did not supervise him, and instead he reported to someone else. My client grew up in New London and her children go to New London schools.
She has an excellent reputation as a person and professional. The superintendent, who is not from New London, and who has only been superintendent, is having public meetings where she allows the public to make false statements against my client.
I plan on using every legal resource and remedy to protect my client and vindicate her for being wrongfully defamed and libeled.”
Read the letter below: