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Teacher, 2 paraprofessionals on leave in New Haven after audiotape surfaces of possible verbal abuse to pre-k students

By Rob Polansky

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    NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (WFSB) — State investigators are looking into claims of verbal abuse at a magnet school in New Haven.

The Department of Children and Families told Channel 3 on Tuesday that it was notified and that the New Haven police were investigating allegations by parents of pre-kindergarten students at the Conte West Hills School.

“Parents provided an audiotape taken from the classroom to document their concerns,” said Justin Harmon, spokesperson for New Haven Public Schools. “A teacher and two paraprofessionals have been put on leave while the investigation is ongoing. In the interim, classroom programming will be provided by specialists from the early childhood team. Mental health support also is being provided to students in the classroom.”

DCF said it was also working with school officials.

“While these are allegations at this time, this is a reminder, that regardless of the alleged perpetrator’s relationship with a child, a reasonable suspicion of child abuse and neglect can be made to the Child Abuse and Neglect Careline by dialing 1-800-842-2288,” said Peter Yazbak, director of communications for DCF. “The Careline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Callers to the Careline can remain anonymous.”

No other details were released.

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