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Three Connecticut school administrators charged in "fight club" investigation

MONTVILLE, CT -- (WTNH) - Three Montville school administrators turned themselves into authorities in connection with an alleged "fight club" at Montville High School.

Montville Superintendent of Schools Brian Levesque, Montville High School Principal Jeffery Theodoss, and Assistant principal Tatiana Patten, were all charged with failure of mandated reporter to report abuse.

In December 2017, Montville Police Department launched an investigation after reports that a substitute math teacher, Ryan Fish, was holding a "fight club" in a classroom during school hours.

After further investigation, Ryan Fish was arrested on April 12. According to police, their investigation also identified Levesque, Theodoss, and Patten as being aware of, and having firsthand knowledge of the incidents. 

All three are scheduled to appear in court on May 3 in Norwich.

Late Thursday morning, Assistant Superintendent of Montville Public Schools, Laurie Pallin, released the following statement regarding the incident: 

"It is with a heavy heart that, as assistant superintendent, I try to make sense of a very unfortunate situation. 

Today is a sad day for our district. Three well-known and highly respected members of the Montville Public Schools administrative team turned themselves in to state police Troop E this morning.  These people are not only my colleagues, but they are my friends.  As of today, the superintendent, the high school principal, and the assistant principal have been placed on leave pending the outcome of our internal investigation as well as the ongoing state police investigation.

There is much that, legally, I cannot address, and, due to the fact that I was not part of this investigation, I do not have many of the details.

What I can tell you is that we cannot and will not let this current situation define who and what we are at Montville Public Schools.  

I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to our students and our families.   The incident that occurred in a high school classroom was unacceptable but it is an exception to how Montville Public Schools operate- it does not illustrate the priority we place on student safety.  It is our fundamental belief that every student in every one of our schools shall have a rich learning environment that is safe and nurturing. 

We are exceptionally proud of our schools, our students, our educators, and our community.   Our students and staff deserve to be recognized for all that makes our school community such a special place."


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