Hartford Public Schools

NBC EXCLUSIVE: Hartford Superintendent Talks About Threats Against District

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For the first time since Hartford Public Schools received threats against school staff, NBC Connecticut spoke exclusively with the school system's superintendent.

The threats follow a decision to place a school nurse on administrative leave for her alleged comments about LGBTQ+ students. The school nurse is accused of also releasing what the district considered confidential information.

Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez shared her thoughts after threats were made against her life. The superintendent tells NBC Connecticut the district has received more than 50 emails, phones calls and voice messages, some of which have been borderline harassment and escalating to physical and violent harm within the last few days.

"It did catch us off guard a bit and when there's this element of concern or threat, it's unfortunate," said Torres-Rodriguez. "The threats certainly crossed over a personal boundary and then the boundary around safety."

In the latest turn, the district released a statement discussing what they say is "biased, dishonest and hostile coverage about the district's medical policies."

"No one in schools can administer any medication, our medical personnel cannot administer medication without a doctor's order, without parental authorization," said Torres-Rodriguez. "We do have a policy and we don’t administer any medication whether it be Tylenol whatever it is.”

The district issued a statement in response to what they consider biased coverage about the district's medical policies.

"Per HPS policy 5152, written, medical authorization signed by parents or guardians and a medical provider are required for all medication administered in schools. No medication, including non-prescription, is administered by HPS staff without a medical authorization form signed by a parent or guardian," the district said.

Hartford Police have launched an investigation into the threats made against the school system and the superintendent. The department has an unit that specializes in cyber threats and tells NBC Connecticut the investigation is active.

In the meantime, Torres-Rodriguez mentions that the district is focused on providing a safe environment for students and staff.

"It’s part of our mission to make sure that we create spaces and conditions for students and staff to be at their best," said Torres-Rodriguez. "Part of our mission is to allow people to show up how they identify and how they want others to identify themselves and we’re in the business of supporting young people.”

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