HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — After a Hartford school nurse was placed on administrative leave because of alleged comments on social media, the community is weighing in at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting.
The nurse was placed on administrative leave in March after allegedly making what the superintendent described as “inappropriate comments” regarding LGBTQ+ students in the district on social media.
Hartford Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez previously said the comments were made in a Facebook group and described private and personal details about a specific student. Torres-Rodriguez told News 8 broader comments about other students were made as well. She said the comments contained identifiable information.
Because it is a personnel matter under investigation, the school system cannot comment on what was posted or who it was posted about, only saying a school nurse was suspended after they say she posted comments on social media about a transgender student.
This topic was not on the agenda Tuesday night but many people turned out to the meeting to say the superintendent did the right thing.
Dozens of members of PFLAG Hartford, a chapter of the first and largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their parents, families and allies, showed up to speak directly to the superintendent and thank her for protecting the identity of a transgender student in the Hartford Public School System.
“Their privacy is important and we have policies in place that the superintendent can rely on to act quickly and get to the bottom of what’s going on,” said Mark Pixley, PFLAG Hartford president.
“The situation was unfortunate, but really happy with the moves that the superintendent made to assess the situation and to do the right thing by putting that student’s needs first,” said Lindsey Pasquale with PFLAG Hartford.
After the school nurse was put on administrative leave, the superintendent’s office started receiving death threats, saying “there will be bodies.” There were direct emails as well as national forms saying “she needs to be executed,” among other very graphic things.
The Hartford Police Department is investigating and the community is standing behind her.
“The school board, they’re doing their job and for somebody to say ‘we don’t agree with you so we’re going to threaten your life…’ Where are we,” said Courtney Pollack with PFLAG Hartford.
The investigations into the school nurse and the threats received by the school board and superintendent remain ongoing.