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Two Long Branch School District Employees Suspended After Incident With Young Students

Four students were reportedly bound and gagged in Gregory Elementary School bathroom.

Two Gregory Elementary School maintenance employees have been suspended and are being investigated after an "incident" with four young students on Thursday morning, March 1.

According to a statement from Long Branch Superintendent of Schools Michael Salvatore, the incident occurred in the boys' bathroom, but details of what occurred were not released by the school. The names of the students, their ages and the names and salaries of the two employees have not been released.

However, The Link News reported on its Facebook page that it had received an e-mail from a parent stating the following:

“Yesterday (March 1) 4 boys under the age of 10 were bound and gagged by the school janitors in the bathroom at the Gregory School Long Branch ... Photos were taken by the janitors ... Long Branch Police and the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office are investigating ...”

Salvatore's e-mail  states that "after the reports and the review of our security cameras revealed the possibility that the incident took place, parents were notified, as well as, the proper authorities."

He said cameras are not allowed in bathrooms or locker rooms, but that footage from other school cameras "revealed that the students and staff were in the bathroom at that time."

The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, Long Branch Police Department and Institutional Abuse/DYFS are conducting an investigation regarding the allegations, according to Salvatore.

Monmouth County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Richard Incremona said no criminal charges had been filed as of Saturday afternoon.

"There was an allegation about children and staff members," Incremona said. "We were contacted by the Long Branch Police and we are investigating."

Salvatore said the employees were sent home immediately after the incident was reported, suspended with pay and summoned to the Long Branch Police Department for testimony.

"Regardless of criminality, as the acts are claimed to be without malice and in jest; we have taken abrupt action as a safeguard to the children," Salvatore said in his statement. "It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure the safety and well-being of every child."

"Any allegations involving reprehensible decisions and actions, regardless of intent, are intolerable and will not be accepted by the Long Branch Board of Education," Salvatore continued.

The timeline of the incident is still under investigation, but Gregory Elementary School Principal Elford Rawls-Dill informed the parents, Salvatore, the Long Branch Police and Institutional Abuse shortly after the incident occurred, according to Salvatore's statement.

Rawls-Dill reportedly conducted student interviews and reviewed the school security cameras before reaching out the parents, Salvatore and authorities.

The Gregory School staff was informed of the incident on Friday morning, March 2.

"(Staff members) were told that if they hear students speaking of incidents similar to this to notify the principal immediately, who will then contact the Long Branch Police Department who is conducting the investigation," Salvatore said.

Salvatore said any information about the incident should be directed to the Long Branch Police Department.

Christina Warren March 05, 2012 at 11:50 AM
INCIDENT!!!! This was a blatant kidnapping! Call it what it is! How the heck could four boys disappear without notice! And then be bound and gagged without attention being brought to the situation! AND THEN send the people who did it home!!! Lock these people up! Give these children comfort that the adults are on their side and not more concerned about saving face! It is no wonder this world is screwed up!! They treat the victims like criminals and the criminals like victims! God have mercy on ALL of them and I hope they are given the strictest of punishments!!!!
Lynn Humphrey March 05, 2012 at 11:56 AM
To Scary!!! My granddaughter goes to Gregory. Security needs some major work There are stories about a guy who shows up every day after school, the kids call "The Creepy Guy" Doesn't look like he's there to pick any one up
Christina Warren March 12, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Even though some circumstances say that the children were bullying and the Superintendant said this was without malice. Two grown men allegedly bound and gagged four children and took pictures!! No one saw this or heard this? This happened when? They feel this is ok because??? The facts are two men tried to punish children that were not theirs, in a fashion that goes beyond child abuse. I fail to see the punch line to their joke!
Katrina Cucolo March 10, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Over a year later and no arrests made?? I don't get it.. Someone update this story, please!!
Lynn Humphrey March 11, 2013 at 11:18 AM
According to the voices of the children. The older students were bullying the younger ones and the janitor walked in. Then decided to give them a taste of their own medicine. Should have reported it.

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