Shelton parents, students want answers about SHS investigation
It’s the talk among city parents in lunchrooms, at bus stops, at Veterans Memorial Park and on the Shelton residents’ Facebook page.
People are asking why Shelton High School Headmaster Beth Smith was placed on administrative leave last week, and what’s going to happen now.
“The reasons should be made available to parents,” Amy Jaffer said Wednesday, as she waited for her son to get off his bus near the Plumb Memorial Library. “These are people we put put in charge of a children, if any wrongdoing has been done, parents need to know.”
Police Chief Shawn Sequeira, a retired state police detective who once worked for the state Department of Children and Families, has said his department is looking into whether school personnel followed state law. But he has specified which laws pertained to this case.
“Obviously, everyone wants to know what actually happened,” Anuja Goyal said as she walked downtown, watching her son ride his bike. “There has been no public discussion.”
There have been a number of controversies at Shelton High in the last few years.
In 2011, student James Tate attracted worldwide attention — which helped overturn a decision by Smith to bar him from attending the prom after taping foot-high letters on the outside of the high school, asking a girlfriend to go with him.
In 2015, six teenage Shelton girls had to alter or replace their prom gowns after school officials deemed the outfits too revealing.
In 2016, the parents of a Shelton High student killed in a car crash prevailed on the Board of Education to issue a posthumous diploma for their son.
Last year, after petitions were circulated by seniors Justin Hafele and Tiana Boccuzzi, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Chris Clouet canceled plans to hold graduation ceremonies at Ansonia’s Nolan Field because of ongoing turf field renovations at Shelton High’s Finn Field.
“Mr. Skerritt moved right in,” said Horvath, adding that he, too, wonders what is going on.
The matter did not come up during Wednesday’s special meeting of the Board of Education, where the agenda was limited to the budget and redistricting, with no public comment session. The next scheduled school board meeting is April 23.
A notice remained posted on the Shelton Public Schools website and includes: “SHS Principal, Dr. Beth Smith, will be out on administrative leave until further notice. This is a personnel matter.”