Beth Smith, on paid administrative leave from her Shelton High principal post since late March, has been reassigned within the district.
School Superintendent Dr. Chris Clouet confirmed that Smith began her new role on Wednesday, May 29, at central office, handling special education projects under the direction of the district’s special education department head.
“After it was clear that there was not going to be any kind of arrest, which we are happy about, (Smith) had her lawyers, and we had out lawyers, work with each other on when her return would take place,” said Clouet. “And that was today.”
Shelton police began investigating Smith and Assistant Principal John Skerritt in late March after police were called to the high school in response to an incident involving two students. That six-week investigation was closed earlier this month, with the department determining no criminal charges would be filed.
Shelton Police Chief Shawn Sequeira said the department was attempting to determine if school personnel were following the proper protocols and procedures, in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes, when dealing with potentially criminal situations.
Clouet said the school district plans to conduct an internal investigation once it has received the final police report on the investigation. Clouet said his office has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the police department seeking the records, which should be forthcoming.
Once the internal investigation is complete, Clouet said, a final decision will be made on the placement of Smith and Skerritt, who has also been welcomed back in a reassignment, but remains out on medical leave. No final determination on placement will be made until after the current school year ends.
“(Smith) seemed to acclimate very well,” Clouet said about her new role in the school system. “She is a professional. She understands the difficult situation we are in and is willing to help with special education projects."
Clouet also responded to those in the community who questioned the decision to place the pair on administrative leave rather than reassign within the district when the police investigation began.
“When the two individuals were under criminal investigation — which they are not now — it was in my best judgment that they not be on site at the school district,” said Clouet.
brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com