EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 22, 2013

Teacher, student's relations improper

School: Relationship to result in lawsuit

(Continued)

School officials said they learned about Elefante’s “inappropriate conduct” when they were approached by lawyers representing the former student in 2011.

“Now two years later, we have been approached by new legal counsel, representing the former student, this time indicating that he intends to file suit against Pike for the damage allegedly done to his client in connection with this relationship,” Waters and Chaban said in their letter.

“Pike has received no information at this point to show that faculty or administration knew of an inappropriate relationship between the student and the teacher, which is not surprising given that it is alleged that the association between them involved only phone calls and other contact off campus. The lawyer intends to bring suit, nonetheless,” the letter said.

“Any allegation that a student might have been harmed by someone associated with The Pike School is of course troubling. While we took steps two years ago to satisfy ourselves that no one at Pike had knowledge of this developing relationship nor, for that matter, any other inappropriate conduct by Ms. Elefante, we are now undertaking a more comprehensive inquiry to ensure that no stone has been left unturned,” the letter continued. “At the same time, we are also taking steps to provide professional development for our faculty and staff to further heighten their awareness about appropriate boundaries between student and teacher and to ensure that they are as sensitive as people can be to patterns of behavior that might subtly suggest the possibility of an inappropriate relationship existing between the two.”

Boston attorney Carmen Durso, who represents the former Pike student, said Elefante will be a co-defendant in the lawsuit he plans to file against the school soon.

“I notified them that it is my intention to file a lawsuit,” Durso said last night, declining to provide details of the complaint until it is filed.

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