Friday, June 02, 2023


KHS Principal, Staffers Back at Work

Kings Highway Elementary School Principal Mary Lou DiBella and four staff members, put on administrative leave almost two months ago, are back at work, the district’s acting superintendent said today. Image
KHS Principal Mary Lou DiBella: out since Jan. 28. Westport Schools photo

Word came in an email to parents from Anthony Buono, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning who has taken over the duties of Superintendent Colleen Palmer, who is absent due to a family emergency.

“I am pleased to announce the successful resolution of an administrative leave affecting five of our fine educators at Kings Highway Elementary School,” Buono said.

“Dr. Mary Lou DiBella and four other educators have returned to their duties serving the students, parents, and faculty of KHS.”

The educators, on leave since Jan. 28, had been subject to allegations “that were thoroughly addressed through a comprehensive review process,” Buono said.

“Immediately upon receiving the results of this review process, we decided without hesitation to return these educators to KHS the following day,” he said.

Buono said due to confidentiality rules imposed by federal and state law, there could not be a direct response to or discussion about the allegations.

“However, I can assure you that when we restore staff members to work who have been on leave during a review process, we do so based on our trust and confidence in those individuals,” he said.

On Feb, 5, WesportNow reported the administrative leaves resulted from a complaint filed with the state about the restraining of a 6-year-old special needs student multiple times, according to a parent familiar with the matter.

The parent, who asked for anonymity, said the complaint was made to the state Department of Children and Families (DCF). (See WestportNow Feb. 5, 2019)

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