Sachem school board trustee resigns following accusations he verbally abused student
A Sachem Central School District board trustee resigned Wednesday amid an incident that police say involved a female student who says she was verbally attacked.
Suffolk police say they received a report of an adult male yelling and cursing at a female student on the grounds of Sachem East High School.
News 12 learned that the adult under investigation is board trustee James Mancaruso. According to an attorney representing him, Mancaruso got two phone calls last Wednesday informing him that his child was in danger and about to be jumped by three other students.
The attorney tells News 12 Mancaruso made numerous phone calls to school officials, then went to the building and was let into the school. The lawyer says Mancaruso, along with school staff, went to where his child was on the school grounds. His attorney didn't elaborate on what happened next.
The mother of the student addressed school officials during a school board meeting Wednesday night. "We've relived this day again and again and quite frankly, do not wish to do that again," the woman said.
She went on to say that her 14-year-old daughter was confronted by an intruder who bypassed security and used his power and position to unlawfully enter the school building. She says he entered the building full of children and verbally attacked her daughter and cursed at staff members.
Mancaruso submitted a letter of resignation to the board and superintendent, and it voted unanimously to accept it at the meeting.
In a statement to News 12, the district's superintendent says, "The district and Board of Education are aware of the alleged incident and an investigation is underway. We are reviewing our safety protocols and have contacted the proper authorities. The safety and well-being of our students and staff are always a top priority. We take these allegations very seriously."
Mancaruso's attorney says his client acted only out of love and fear that his child was in imminent danger and reacted the way any loving parent would.
The mother of the teenage girl says her family does not want to be in the spotlight.