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Parents Criticize School District Communication After Bathroom Incident

Superintendent says changes will be made as a result of Thursday's incident

 

Long Branch School District Superintendent Michael Salvatore spoke during Tuesday night's PTA meeting to discuss the .

Two maintenance workers allegedly tied up and gagged four Gregory School students on Thursday morning in a bathroom, according to a letter from a parent. The two employees were suspended with pay on Thursday after school officials learned of the incident.

The names of the students and the employees have not been released.

"We have been doing our best to conceal the identities of the students and the employees," Salvatore said.

Salvatore said the students came forward and reported what happened to their teacher, but that the timeline as to how long they were in the bathroom is still under investigation.

Ever since the incident occurred, parents have been clamoring for information, saying that they do not have all the facts.

Salvatore said he still could not give specific details of what happened with the public, because the Long Branch Police and Monmouth County Prosecutor are still investigating.

However, at Tuesday's meeting, Salvatore did say there have been no allegations of sexual abuse.

A huge crowd gathered on in the Gregory School auditorium to voice their displeasure with the incident and the school's immediate response.

Many parents said they were upset they were not notified of the incident sooner. Several said they found out about it through the media or through word of mouth over the weekend or even Monday morning.

Salvatore said he would "do things differently in the future" when it comes to getting information out more quickly to all parents.

One parent of a 4-year-old child said after hearing what happened, her daughter is "terrified to go to the bathroom," and asked what the school would do to make children and parents feel safe.

Salvatore said the school has plans to change its procedures when work is being done in a bathroom or classroom.

"The bathroom should have been closed," Salvatore said. "In the future the door will be locked and marked with someone standing outside it."

He said the office will also e-mail all the staff to let them know when work is being done.

He said there will also be assemblies held for all students, not just Gregory School students, to educate them about not interacting with strangers and other safety procedures.

Other parents asked why the employees were suspended with pay and not fired.

"Nobody should be putting their hands on students," the parent said.

"The district has limitations," Salvatore said. "Regulations say we must suspend the employees with pay until they are found guilty."

Salvatore said if any incident is determined to be a criminal act, it would be his recommendation to terminate the employee.

He said the Long Branch Board of Education would have to take action if the employees were terminated.

Bob Basher March 07, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Hey Im tired of reading this since no info is ever given leaving me to wonder??? Either these janitors were joking around somehow...or they caught these guys bullying a kid and gave em a scare....Something that would would have not even been reported years ago....but I digress...or..maybe these kids hate these janitors and made it all up...I doubt it but ...what gives? At least print what the janitors have to say....I could not imagine anything sexual no way not with more then one on one....waiting......waiting...........waiting......so what did anybody learn at meeting they are suspended with pay..hmmm which leaves me to believe it was a joke that went over like lead baloon or they contend story made up. Great there goes are taxes up as we will need a bathroom guard....multiplied by how many bathrooms....gee all I know is this story is fishy at best.
Bob Basher March 07, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Hey...everybodies got these guys lynched.....what if the kids made it up.....and what if they were caught bullying another kid and the janitors gave em a good deserved scare....everybodies so afraid of a kid even being touched..no wonder there are so many screwed up kids...In the Bronx as kids we protected ourselves and if My parents got word I did something to a kid and older janitors tied me up and gagged me...they would have said good you deserved it. as of now Ill just bet these parents are ready to sue the district.....for their little brats......ok ok your right but this is as absurd as wanting the janitors fired without even knowing what the hell went on....Does anybody know how hard it is to get work nowadays??? NO I was making a point the kids may or may not be little brats....and I do not condone any janitor tieing up a kid.....My mother would have applauded them..but that was long ago before the world became nuts,
Lynn Humphrey March 07, 2012 at 10:45 AM
From what I hear out of the mouths of babes is there seems to be some bullying going on in Gregory School. Perhaps as someone else said maybe the janitors were giving them a scare. If that is the case, the janitors should not have taken matters into their hands, it should have been reported. I hear there are cameras in the bathrooms which means these incidents should be on tape and it's time to go to take a look at all the videos.
Christina Warren March 07, 2012 at 12:12 PM
First off, joke or not, NO ONE has the right to punish my kid. They should still not be able to work at school if they don't know better! And if the kids did make it up, the parents should pay the cost for lawyers and court costs for not disciplining their kids well enough to not bully. As for the bathroom guard?? DUH! Just prop the door wide open with a floor sign 'do no enter'. Closed doors with no entrance and a guard, still holds to much room for secrets and accusations. do we not have rules set for bathroom etiquette? No adult in the bathroom at the same time as a child unless there is an emergency, and if there is, the door stays OPEN until administration arrives. Still this situation is extremely unacceptable and hopefully the Super Int. will figure it out, before they lynch him too.
Bob Basher March 07, 2012 at 01:52 PM
That was well said....I was never lucky enough to have a kid...so I speak from my youth and my experience. I hope I did not offend any parent as I just wanted to get some response since all there is is silence....too much silence is worse then saying wrong thing and correcting later,...I mean other day at 4 I was driving north from St Barnabas Hospital and passed the ABC news truck..and I thought Ill bet they are heading to the Gregory school and I thought this is rediculous.....if nobody was arrested then lets have the story...or just say nothing happened....but at the risk of lawsuits everyone is mum......in that case I wish they never said anything, If the kids did make it up (which I doubt but hey who knows) it would be easier on them too if they come clean and get this settled QUICK before the channel 4 and 2 and news 12 and fox start cloggin the streets......AH youth... seems gone are the days when you have to worrry someone may have stuck a "KICK ME" sign on your back.
Rick G March 07, 2012 at 03:53 PM
FYI there are no cameras inside the bathrooms. Board of Ed has rules against that. There are only cameras outside, which the Superintendent has said they are looking out to try and figure out details.
Christina Warren March 07, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Shame on you! Who made you judge and jury. I'm angry and frustrated with this garbage too, but that is wrong.
Jacklyn Corley (Editor) March 07, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Comments that speculated on the names of the janitors have been removed. Please allow the legal system to take its course. If and when the individuals are charged, their names will be made publicly available.
Christina Warren March 07, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Thank you!
Bubba March 08, 2012 at 05:59 AM
I've been reading all these comments and tirades from the past few days, and I was beginning to think we were back in the mid-1800's! You know . . . "grab a rope, find a tree limb and string 'em up!" All based on rumor and innuendo. Sure, people are mad as hell. They have a right to be mad. BUT, we still (so far) have a Constitution and a legal system which assumes the accused to be innocent until PROVEN guilty in a court of law. I'm not defending anyone, here, but I hate to see mob-rule and mob-mentality! Someone commented that, "the government should step in!" WRONG! We have enough "government" on our backs, already! Use the system! We elected the Long Branch Board of Education who hired the various school employees. They work for US! Put the pressure where it belongs. Pressure the Board. Hold THEM accountable to the positions WE voted them into! As a community, stand up and make elected officials accountable before you throw your ropes over the tree branch. Don't call for more governmental controls. As a community, WE already have all the control we need.
Christina Warren March 08, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I have tried to contact the author of this article and it keeps coming back, undeliverable. I just wanted to express my disappointment in the Patch that you have kept the posting of ANON on here. It is malicious and cruel. They will face the firing squad soon enough, but if your going to posts names, post your own, so the police know who to come to when something happens to either of them. Let the Authorities handle it.
Christopher Sheldon (Editor) March 08, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Christina, my e-mail address is christopher.sheldon@patch.com if you have any questions. Those comments made by that user were deleted and should no longer be posted on this site.
Christopher Sheldon (Editor) March 09, 2012 at 12:04 AM
As was stated yesterday.......comments that speculated on the names of the janitors will be removed. Please allow the legal system to take its course. If and when the individuals are charged, their names will be made publicly available
justice March 09, 2012 at 12:11 AM
just sad.it really is..ive posted the names on several sites and informing people.ill keep doing it everywhere i can,people should know we have that right.its America FREEDOM OF SPEECH RIGHT??? because last time i checked thats one of out freedoms.
Christopher Sheldon (Editor) March 09, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Commenting on this article has been turned off after multiple attempts by users to publicize the names of the employees in this article. Again, please allow the legal system to take its course. If and when the individuals are charged, their names will be made publicly available.

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