Hundreds of parents packed a school meeting in Long Branch at the Gregory Elementary School to demand answers over an alleged incident in the boys bathroom where four boys were tied up by two school janitors.

A letter was sent home with students Monday describing the alleged misconduct, but parents were outraged about a lack communication.

“We had to find out about this on Facebook and in the media…we should have been told,” shouted one woman.

Superintendent Michael Salvatore had the microphone for most of the hour-long session, and said the gap in the weekend hindered response time.

“We had to act fast or be correct..and maybe next time we will send out a digital message. Either way, we can’t blame the systems we have in place if we don’t have adults acting properly in the first place.”

Salvatore assured parents that their kids should feel safe in the Long Branch district.

“We have crisis counselors on hand since this happened, we have been and will continue to do assemblies with Prevention First and teach kids to know how to handle encounters with strangers.”

But that did little to calm the fear of many parents.

“We don’t have any answers, we were never told and so now we assume the worst” said one man.

“If it was a prank or not, these kids are still gonna be traumatized emotionally…my daughter is scared to go to the bathroom.”

Salvatore said subsequently they have made changes to children’s bathroom visits. “One additional staff member will be on the floor outside the bathroom from now on.”

Salvatore also said all rooms throughout the school will be closed and locked when repairs are being made.

The schools have surveillance cameras in place, but Salvatore said after 72 hours the tapes are erased and no backups are kept.

“At this time we have not made any plans to increase the bandwidth of the cameras” he said.

That angered many parents in attendance. “So if this happened on Thursday and the kids didn’t tell someone until Monday, the tapes would be gone? That makes no sense” said one woman.

The two workers remain suspended with pay while the investigation continues. No charges have been filed.


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