Following the publication of two articles (McCafferty’s protected and enabled “Reign of Terror” at Hillside and McCafferty’s Sunday Morning Message and its Fallout)on this blog exposing the alleged abuses of Hillside Principal Brendan McCafferty, Girard at Large has learned that the Manchester School District has launched an investigation. In an email obtained by Girard at Large, the district’s chief legal officer Katie Cox Pelletier emailed several teachers asking them for a twenty to thirty minute electronic meeting, stating she believed the recipients “may have information relevant to the allegations.” Girard at Large has also learned that the emails went to teachers who had complaints with McCafferty as well as teachers known to be in his inner circle.
Some were hopeful that the administration appeared to be taking the complaints published on this blog seriously. Others were very skeptical. “We’ve been here before,” said one. “As long as his protectors are remain in the district office, they’ll find a way to ignore what his abuses.” When pressed, one source pointed to how the assistant superintendent Jenn Gillis rigged the district’s first large scale investigation by allowing McCafferty to recommend staff members for interviews while claiming the teachers were chosen randomly. Gillis is now interim superintendent and Cox-Pelletier reports directly to her.
Another skeptic asked “what do they hope to learn in 20 to 30 minutes? Looks like they’re just going through the motions. People are worried that this is an attempt to flush out who’s been talking to you. I’m not sure how candid people will be since there’s so little trust in the administration given their past indifference to complaints and how they’ve covered for him (McCafferty).”
Heightening the concern was the fact that teachers were being asked to meet remotely via video conferencing software while at Hillside.
Others were more hopeful. “As people have read in your articles, so many Hillside staff have had their careers and lives damaged by this guy (McCafferty). I have to believe the body count is getting to be too much for them to ignore.”
Another offered an interesting take. “Maybe Gillis is going to finally deal with him to help her chances of becoming superintendent. It’s bad publicity for the district and for her. She’s got to do something to make it go away before a superintendent is chosen.”
Emails were sent by Cox-Pelletier late last week with interviews scheduled this week. It is unknown exactly what the scope of the investigation is or how long it will take. Girard at Large will update this story with any information that becomes available.