Thea Digiammerino

New London School Board Looks at Changes to Hiring Process After Sex Scandal

The school board is taking action to protect students at New London Public Schools in the wake of a sex scandal.

A new school board member is calling for tougher rules when it comes to hiring staff.

Already the investigation has led to the arrest of one school worker and several others being put on leave.

On Wednesday there was a call for change at New London Public Schools from school board member Jason Catala.

“I have a 12-year-old daughter and I wouldn’t want someone in front of her teaching her to have these convictions,” Catala said.

It comes just days after the arrest of Corriche Gaskin.

At one point, he had worked as a behavioral therapist at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School.

Police accuse the 35-year-old of having sex with two other school workers and a student inside the school, and then showing videos of the acts to another student.

Mayor Michael Passero says he’s talked with other teachers about the turmoil.

“They’re hurting and the students are hurting and they’re sharing their pain. They’re disappointed. They’ve been betrayed. And we all want answers. And we’ll have those answers in time,” Passero said.

Now Catala says he has concerns about why Gaskin was hired despite what he calls a checkered past.

He is now pushing for tighter hiring rules as the district updates its employment check policy.

“It’s definitely important that there be language in there that specifically prohibits anyone that comes to work with our children in the district that has federal convictions dealing with drugs or anything that will impede our students who walk through our building,” Catala said.

On Wednesday at a policy committee meeting concerns were raised about the idea especially if it fits with the non-discrimination policy.

Catala said he has confidence in the current superintendent who inherited this situation.

But he thinks absolute rules are needed to guide those in charge of hiring.

“We trusted the individuals at the top and look at some of the individuals they brought forward to us. In the end we did put our students at risk,” Catala said.

The hiring policy is expected to be debated again at a meeting later this month.

The district has already fired Gaskin, who faces charges including sexual assault and possession of child pornography.

New London Police say they are thoroughly investigating the situation.

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