Novi teacher accused of inappropriately touching 10 and 11-year-old students

A Novi Community Schools employee has been accused of inappropriate conduct with a student.

Police aren't revealing many details, but the employee has been removed from the school while the investigation is ongoing.

In a letter sent out Tuesday to parents with children in Novi schools, Superintendent Steve Matthews says a Novi Meadows school employee is on paid administrative leave after allegations of inappropriate contact with two students.

Novi police say just over a week ago that investigators learned that two students, ages 10 and 11, accused a 5th-grade Meadows teacher of touching them inappropriately. 

"We pride ourselves on being a community school district," Matthews said. "This really hurts when something like this happens."

Matthews, not releasing his name or commenting on whether it happened on- or off-school grounds says the teacher has been with the district since 1996.

"Part of this makes you angry," he said. "When there's allegations like this because it puts everyone under a microscope. Everyone is seen as potentially the perpetrator in these incidents."

Novi police getting the tip from Troy police say the department received a law enforcement notification of the potential sexual abuse from a mental health facility. Where police say the teacher had been seeking treatment. Police say the teacher may have committed similar crimes in Troy.

"It's very concerning, we take it very seriously," said a Novi police officer. "And once we're done with the investigation, we will be forwarding that on to the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office for any and all charges."

One parent, whose child attends Novi Meadows,  said although she's confident the district and police are handling the situation, she says she feels uneasy. Other parents agree.

"I'm appalled that our children cannot be children," said parent Drago Santrach. "They lost innocence, too early in life."

As police investigate the allegations  and urge any other potential victims to come forward, Matthews says the safety of the students is the district's top priority. 

The principal also sent a letter home to parents, asking them to pay attention to students and to listen and watch for signs of distress. 

Matthews says right now, the district is treating them as only allegations as the investigation continues.

"Indeed if this person did the alleged acts, this person would never be in our schools again," Matthews said.

Novi police say the investigation could take two to three weeks.  Matthews says the district will also be conducting its own investigation once that is concluded, even if charges aren't filed. 
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