Norwalk schools chief: Despite rumors, Brien McMahon probe not tied to sexual misconduct

Photo of Tara O'Neill
A file photo of the exterior of the Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, Conn.

A file photo of the exterior of the Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, Conn.

Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticut Media

NORWALK — The internal probe at a local high school that has left three employees on administrative leave is not related to allegations of sexual misconduct, officials said Friday.

Alexandra Estrella, superintendent of Norwalk Public Schools, clarified a current pending internal investigation into staff members at Brien McMahon High School after rumors circulated in recent weeks.

The high school’s principal, Scott Hurwitz, was placed on leave at the beginning of the month. By April 20, officials confirmed two assistant principals — Barbara Wood and Qadir Abdus-Salaam — were also put on leave in connection with the probe.

While officials have not given a reason for the moves, rumors spread that the investigation was tied to possible sexual abuse. In her statement, Estrella denied the rumors.

“As a parent, I am sympathetic to the concerns and questions you all may have, and I want to assure you that the safety of all Norwalk Public Schools students is of paramount importance,” Estrella said. “To that end, I want to dispel those rumors that have been most upsetting to our community and clarify that we are not investigating any allegations of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct.”

Estrella said officials have “made no findings concerning employees on administrative leave” and that “appropriate leadership” is in place at the high school.

“We appreciate your continued patience as we work to conclude this investigation promptly,” Estrella said.