Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday announced a new investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by teachers at a suburban Long Island high school.
The Babylon School District has pulled scores of teachers out of classrooms in recent weeks after former students laid the charges in recent weeks.
“Every student on Long Island and New York deserves to feel safe and protected at school,” James wrote in a statement. “Reports of sexual abuse of students by their teachers and coaches are disturbing and should be investigated. “
The scandal exploded after former student Brittany Rohl, 28, wrote a letter to administrators detailing her experience with a former Babylon High School teacher who allegedly prepared her for sex from the age of 16 .
Rohl said she was tricked into writing the letter after hearing about another teacher who was removed from her class due to sexual irregularities at the school.
Rohl then left his Florida home to attend an explosive board meeting last week, in which around 20 former students alleged teacher misconduct ranging from attempted kissing to illicit correspondence.
Participants refused to leave the meeting until reluctant board members pledged to remove teachers accused of working with children.
A total of five educators have been excluded from their classrooms so far after the flurry of allegations.
“The safety and well-being of students – past and present – is of the utmost importance, and we will do everything in our power to protect their right to a safe learning environment,” said James.
The directors had previously retained the services of an outside lawyer, Chris Powers, to conduct an internal investigation into the charges.
“I think it was an open secret,” former board chair Linda Scordino said at the meeting, referring to the alleged sexual misconduct of a teacher. “But there were very few people who had the courage to fight him.”