High school reduces days on campus

Brattleboro Union High School.

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BRATTLEBORO — An investigation into sexual abuse within the Windham Southeast School District is heading into a new stage.

At the School Board meeting Tuesday, Board Chairwoman Kelly Young said the fact-gathering portion of the investigation being conducted by attorney Aimee Goddard of Annis & Goddard in Brattleboro will be “drawing to a close shortly.”

“Anyone who has been considering making a report to attorney Goddard but has not yet done so is invited to as soon as possible,” Young said.

The investigation was prompted by an article published in the Commons in August 2021, detailing allegations against a now-retired teacher at Brattleboro Union High School. Information on how to report incidents to Goddard has been available at southernvermontlaw.com/wsesd.

“Although this particular channel of reporting will no longer be available after fact gathering has ended,” Young said, “all members of the community should be aware that the board continues to take the issues under investigation seriously, and encourages reporting concerns and incidents through all the other available channels that will remain in place.”

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Young said the board will continue to ask for the community’s “patience and understanding as the investigation moves into the next phase.”

“We are currently waiting for information from attorney Goddard,” she said. “It might be that she still has people who have contacted her but we have put out the request for some information that we can share with the community.”

Attorney Kendall Hoechst of Dinse in Burlington has been described as a “firewall” between the school board and the investigation.

“The community wanted the board to remain separate and apart from the investigation, which is why we hired attorney Hoechst to preserve the integrity of the investigation,” Young said. “So we communicate with [Hoechst] and she communicates with attorney Goddard to preserve the integrity of the investigation.”