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Back rubs earn Hooksett substitute teacher a walk out the door

Union Leader Correspondent

February 04. 2013 1:48PM

HOOKSETT - A substitute teacher at Hooksett's Cawley Middle School was "permanently removed" from the building after allegedly being "too familiar" in physical contact with students.

The seventh-grade substitute teacher at Hooksett's Cawley Middle School was walked out of the building Jan. 31 after touching students in "too familiar" a manner, according to district officials. School officials did not identify the teacher or say if it was a man or a woman.

The school's principal, Matthew Benson, called the reported behavior "not acceptable" in a letter sent home to parents Feb. 1, adding that it was "inconsistent with the behavior we expect from adults in a school environment."

The letter did not otherwise elaborate on the nature of the incident, but according to a parent who spoke off the record, the substitute had been approaching students from behind while they were studying and giving them back and shoulder rubs.

The substitute teacher was immediately and permanently removed from the building once school officials were notified of the incident.

Superintendent Dr. Charles P. Littlefield and the Hooksett Police Department were also notified immediately.

A Safe Schools report was filed with the department on Feb. 1.

It does not appear that any charges will be pressed, though no official word has been offered on the matter. Hooksett Police have not issued a press release on the incident, and inquiries on the incident made to the department were deferred to School Resource Officer Gary Blanchette, who did not return calls.

The letter from Benson did note, however, that he had spoken with all parents and students involved in the incident, and he believed that school officials had "brought closure to the matter."

Benson declined to comment on the issue, deferring to the SAU office. Littlefield was not available for comment.

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