Sexual Incident Alleged Against GD School Janitor

Several parents in the district have informed us that a female school employee, working at Swallow Union, was cornered by a janitor. Unsolicited sexual advances and gestures were allegedly made. Our sources have told us that the janitor was arrested while school was in session, when children were in the building. We’ve also heard that the victim was ordered, by the district, not to discuss the matter with anyone.

The alleged incident occurred right before the Christmas break and word is just starting to get out now.

As expected, parents are extremely concerned and many questions seem to be left unanswered.

We will have an update when more details come to light.

UPDATE – January 7, 2020 10:43 PM
We have been told by reliable sources that no arrests were made. The janitor was escorted out of the building, before school.

Superintendent Chesson released her much anticipated, official statement earlier today.


———- Forwarded message ——— From: Laura Chesson <lchesson@gdrsd.org> Date: Tue, Jan 7, 2020 at 1:39 PM Subject: Message from the Superintendent Good afternoon, It is our goal to communicate with our school community as quickly and as transparently as possible. However, there are times when issues arise that we must legally follow a protocol regarding necessary investigations and limits regarding communication as is required by law. We have received several inquiries related to allegations of potentially inappropriate behavior by an individual working in the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District. As a district, we do not comment on personnel matters, however, what I can share is that allegations were made about an individual; when the district was notified of the allegations, it followed its policy and conducted an investigation. The timing of the report and the investigation were impacted by Winter Break and the unavailability of several persons involved in the investigation. As is our policy, we were unable to provide any communication regarding this incident while the investigation was on-going. However, the individual in question was immediately placed on immediate administrative leave while the investigation was undertaken and, as a result of the investigation, is no longer working in the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District. Local safety authorities were made aware of the allegations and undertook their own investigation They took the actions they felt were appropriate. Any questions regarding actions taken by the Dunstable Police Department should be forwarded to them. I want to emphasize that the allegations in this matter did not involve students and at no time were any students involved in the matter, including the investigation. As a school district, maintaining the safety of our students and staff is our number one priority. All personnel working within the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District – whether permanent staff, substitute staff, or contract staff – are required to pass a CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) check and criminal background check through the use of fingerprints. This is a policy that is strictly adhered to throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Given this is a personnel matter, we are unable to comment any further. Best regards, Laura S. Chesson, Ed. D. Superintendent

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4 Comments

  1. Firstly, I truly hope the female staffer in question is OK, and is being fully supported by her union, coworkers and family.

    As for the district sweeping this under the rug, saying nothing to parents about it, leaving us to worry about the safety of our young children and wonder what the hell went on is beyond irresponsible. Pathetic that the school committee and districts only concern is NOT getting sued and covering their asses first, and the safety of our children is somewhere down the bottom of the list. There is a school committee meeting Wednesday the 8th. I hope parents come out in force and demand accountability from the SC and District. We deserve more than vague posts by Marlena Gilbert that do little more than to cause alarm and distress to our Swallow Union families.

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    1. Did anything come of the school committee on the 8th? Sadly, I was not aware of any of this until recently. This incident opens up other questions I have about who Swallow Union relies on for hiring, what kind of credentials they require beyond criminal background checks, and what kind of policies or training they have in place regarding misconduct as well as support for anyone who may be victimized. Does anyone happen to know when the next school committee meeting is? I’m hoping this issue will be addressed at the next APT meeting.

  2. I am someone with direct knowledge of the situation. The recounting on this site is inaccurate and overstated. There was no arrest made as there was no crime committed. The employee is fine and the situation was uncomfortable but again, not criminal. To the best of my knowledge the employee did not want it made into a gigantic circus.

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  3. If the incident or allegation was enough to contact authorities, and enough for the superintendent to send a mass email informing parents of an investigation, then we also deserve a follow-up, an update, or to be informed of some conclusion. It doesn’t matter that the students were not present when the incident occurred. It was on the premises and involved people who are around our kids. Do we need to worry about a disgruntled employee? Is there protocol for the victim to receive counseling and support? Shouldn’t we learn from this and maybe require more references in addition to doing the minimum background checks when hiring? Who does the hiring and firing? Are people being paid fair wages? Is there required training for employees about sexual misconduct and harassment? How tight is security at Swallow Union? Is there a better way to communicate with parents and reassure them that the people running the school and teaching our kids have their best interests at heart? Being new residents to this community, this is deeply disappointing.

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