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Stamford Releases Documents Prepared For Firing Of High School Principal

Stamford High Principal Donna Valentine was arrested on charges of not telling authorities of a sexual relationship involving a teacher and a student at the school.
Stamford High Principal Donna Valentine was arrested on charges of not telling authorities of a sexual relationship involving a teacher and a student at the school. Photo Credit: File

STAMFORD, Conn. -- The Stamford Public Schools has posted the findings of an "impartial hearing officer" that led to the firing of embattled former Stamford High principal Donna Valentine last week.

The 95-page document can be found on the school system's website, along with a letter from the Board of Education explaining its decision to finally fire Valentine. She has fought the termination proceedings since May.

Valentine was fired after failing to report a sexual relationship between a student and former English teacher Danielle Watkins.

Valentine was arrested in October 2014 for failing to report her suspicions. She was later granted accelerated rehabilitation in the case. English took a plea bargain and is serving five years in prison. She pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

The letter, dated Jan. 26, cited four reasons for terminating Valentine's contract: inefficiency, insubordination against the school board, moral misconduct and other "due and sufficient cause."

The Stamford Public Schools said it posted the findings of the impartial hearing officer to share the information with the community.

"The information is being posted to provide members of the public with the opportunity to review the document in its entirety and come to their own conclusions," the school system said.

To school system also posted its written letter firing Valentine.

The proceedings took place over six days and included sworn testimony, with witnesses subject to the criminal offense of perjury.

The impartial hearing officer, who presided over the proceedings, was selected at the Valentine's suggestion and was agreed up by Valentine and former superintendent Winifred Hamilton.

The report painted a damning portrait of Valentine's handling of the teacher-student sex scandal as well as her poor leadership skills.

“Dr. Valentine’s inability to recall events and dates with accuracy means that her version of these events is not credible,” the report says.

The report also cited Valentine's poor leadership as principal in recommending that she be fired.

To read the letter of the board's decision, click here .

To read the full document of the hearing, click here .

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