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School District Investigates Claims of Longtime Sexual Misconduct by Teachers

Linda J. Rozzi, the Babylon schools superintendent, did not respond to an email requesting a response to the allegations.

Deirdre Gilligan, a spokeswoman for the school district, declined to respond to any specific allegations, including claims that school officials, including the superintendent, had known about the issues for years and had done nothing. In an email, Ms. Gilligan said little more than that the school district had received the reports and was investigating.

“The district does not tolerate abuse of any kind, takes all allegations very seriously and is committed to acting upon each and every claim we receive,” Ms. Gilligan wrote in a statement. “We commend the brave individuals for coming forward and sharing their voices.”

The New York Times contacted the six teachers who were placed on leave, as well as other teachers who have been accused of wrongdoing, but did not receive responses from any. The Times is not naming those who have been accused because they have not been criminally charged and the accusations are still under investigation.

The school district has taken some steps to try to address the allegations. This month, the Crime Victims Center, a Long-Island based nonprofit group that advocates for victims, will begin providing sexual harassment training for all school personnel. The center will also conduct training for employees on their obligation to report child abuse or neglect; under New York State law, all school staff members who have contact with children must report such claims. The rule has been in effect for teachers since 1973.

Still, calling the reports “troubling,” Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, announced an investigation into the high school last month.

Former students blamed the insular culture of Babylon, a mostly white, middle-class community, known for its quaint village atmosphere and beaches, as partially to blame. The small school has only about 100 students per grade, according to students; teachers have often taught entire families, sometimes several generations, fostering familiarity that can slip into intimacy, several alumnae said.

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