Sunday, July 26, 2015


The Star-Ledger used accused Columbia High School teacher Nicole Dufault as the prime subject in a big Page One story today on teachers sexual assaults of students.

The article, which looks at the issue of teachers preying on students, examines eight such cases in New Jersey in recent years, including Dufault, who was arrested last fall and charged with 40 counts of alleged sexual assault and activity with up to six under-aged students.

New details released in the past month claim much of the sex allegedly occurred in Dufault's classroom and her car, including one alleged incident in a Burger King parking lot.

But the article also suggests that CHS staff and students knew about the incidents and did not report them. None of the investigation so far indicates any staff members were aware of Dufault's actions.

The Star-Ledger irresponsibly states:

Presumably, other teachers and students were walking by in the hallway or using nearby classrooms in the 1,900-student school. But, if anyone suspected something was amiss in Dufault's classroom, they didn't notify police.
The investigation into Dufault's alleged sexual misconduct didn't begin until a student showed the school principal a cell phone video of the teacher performing oral sex on another student, according to court papers. Dufault, who claims to have a brain injury, has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

Such unfair accusations and assumptions do a disservice to our district and to the newspaper itself.

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