Eisele’s sister is set to start her senior year there on Thursday.
“None of this is fair,” said Eisele’s twin brother, Michael. “It makes me really emotional thinking about my brother.”
The Eiseles are hometown acquaintances of Manfredonia. State police allege Manfredonia killed Eisele during a multi-state kidnapping and killing spree in May.
The family said Manfredonia’s mother, Jeannette Roderick Manfredonia, is a biology teacher at the high school and even had the twins in class when they were younger. They said the district told them Manfredonia would have to voluntarily transfer to be reassigned.
“We are not asking her trying to stop her from having an income; we are simply asking for her to transfer schools, remove herself from the same building as my sister,” said Michael.
His change.org petition asking her to do so has garnered thousands of signatures, nearly reaching the 5,000 by Tuesday afternoon the family was aiming for.
However, a counter-campaign has also gained steam. According to that petition, Manfredonia has taught at the school for 16 years. She is also described as beloved, patient and kind. The petition states that Manfredonia is also grieving her son’s actions.
Michael said his sister — a survivor of the Sandy Hook School massacre — deserves space and the chance to focus on her studies and her senior year.
“Jeanette Roderick Manfredonia has not done anything wrong,” he told News 8. “She did not commit any crime. But unfortunately, everybody here has to suffer. My family, I feel, personally has suffered a great deal if not more. We have suffered a tremendous amount more in this situation. Everybody has to suffer, everyone has to lose something.”
Newtown Schools Superintendent Dr. Lorrie Rodrigue said the district empathizes with the victims and their families, but cannot comment on student or personnel matters, writing:
While we do fully empathize with the victims and their families in this case, which was tragic, as a school system we cannot comment on any individual student or personnel-related matters.
“We’re still mourning,” said Michael. “We’re still thinking about him,.”
Efforts to reach Jeanette Manfredonia were unsuccessful. Peter’s attorney declined to comment.