Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday announced a new probe into teacher sexual misconduct allegations at a suburban Long Island high school.
The Babylon School District has removed a slew of teachers from classrooms in recent weeks after former students came forward with the accusations in recent weeks.
“Every student on Long Island and across New York deserves to feel safe and protected at school,” James wrote in a statement. “The reports of sexual abuse of students at the hands of their teachers and coaches are troubling and must be investigated.”
The scandal exploded after former student Brittany Rohl, 28, penned a letter to administrators detailing her experience with a former Babylon High School teacher who allegedly groomed her for sex beginning when she was 16.
Rohl said she was moved to write the letter after hearing about another teacher who was removed from his classroom due to sexual improprieties at the school.
Rohl then traveled from her home in Florida to attend an explosive board meeting last week where roughly 20 former students alleged teacher misconduct ranging from attempted kisses to illicit correspondence.
Attendees refused to leave the meeting until reluctant board members pledged to remove accused teachers from working with kids.
A total of five educators have been barred from their classrooms thus far after the rush of allegations.
“The safety and well-being of students — both past and present — is of utmost importance, and we will do everything in our power to protect their right to a safe learning environment,” James said.
Administrators had previously retained outside counsel Chris Powers to conduct an internal probe of the charges.
“I think it was an open secret,” said former board president Linda Scordino at the meeting, referring to the alleged teacher sexual misconduct. “But there were very few people who had the guts to fight it.”