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3 Plymouth Center Elementary School employees on leave amid criminal investigation

Two educators and the principal are on leave. Some parents are demanding answers and transparency, so FOX61 sought those out.

PLYMOUTH, Conn — A criminal investigation that centers on Plymouth Center Elementary School is underway, FOX61 confirmed; two educators and the principal are on leave. Now, parents want answers as to what's going on.

Betsy Caswell’s son goes to the Plymouth Center School. She said, “I understand that there’s legal ramifications as far as what they can say, but I think there needs to be some transparency for the safety of our children.”

FOX61 went looking for that transparency. Superintendent Brian Falcone met FOX61’s Matt Caron at the door of the Plymouth central offices, but declined an on-camera interview, citing statute and policy.

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Instead, he provided FOX61 with a statement that read, in part, “These actions are part of a pending personnel matter and further details cannot be provided at this time.”

Parents say that answer is not good enough.

“Parents in town, as well as the town in general, should know what’s going on and not be relying on the rumor mill on social media,” responded one mom who wanted her identity protected.

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FOX61 also stopped by the Plymouth Police Department, the primary investigating agency. An officer did come and speak with FOX61 but declined an interview.

What FOX61 did uncover were the names and positions of the employees who were placed on leave at the Plymouth Center Elementary School.

4th-grade teacher James Eschert was placed on leave. His page on the school website has been deactivated. The Principal, Sherri Turner is also on leave, along with math interventionist Mrs. Holleran.

Plymouth held a school board meeting on Wednesday. The chair, Walter Seaman said, “The reason that the information is not fully disclosed at this time or to this board is because it cannot be.” He asked for parents to trust them.

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“Based on my experiences within the system, I don’t trust the process,” said one parent.

An email obtained by FOX61 from the superintendent shows that Mr. Eshchert was placed on leave in September, but the superintendent allegedly didn’t notify the school community until Nov. 2 after a Snapchat post surfaced.

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at mcaron@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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