LAWRENCE -- Two members of the staff at Central Catholic High School have been placed on leave pending the outcome of misconduct investigations.
The two staff members, who were not named, were suspended while investigations of their behavior are conducted, according to a letter sent Thursday evening to students, parents and alumni by Central President Christopher F. Sullivan.
Allegations involving the two staff members came to the school's attention in the wake of the firing of Andrew Nikonchuk, the former director of curriculum and instruction at the school. Nikonchuk, 36, of Lowell is under investigation for the drugging and rape of a student in 2006.
The first of the new allegations involves a staff member who posted compromising photos of himself on an adults-only, password-protected website.
"I am aware that copies of these photos have been circulated," Sullivan said in his letter. "This staff member’s online behavior is inconsistent with the values of self-respect, compassion for others, and healthy decision-making for the children we serve."
The second allegation involves an administrator and occurred last month. This individual reportedly sent inappropriate messages through a social media site to a former student who had graduated in 2016, Sullivan said in the letter. Screen shots of the messages had been circulated among the Central community, he said.
"The school is conducting an investigation regarding these allegations," Sullivan wrote. "The sending of these messages violated the school’s policies pertaining to appropriate social boundaries between students and faculty."
Sullivan noted that in neither case were any students physically harmed.
"Both individuals involved will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of our investigation," Sullivan said. "We will communicate the nature of our findings and the status of each individual’s employment once that process is complete."
Sullivan said he is aware of the numerous rumors circulating involving Central Catholic staff.
"I want to assure all of Central’s students and parents that we are doing everything in our power to investigate each and every allegation that is brought to our attention," he wrote. "Our School’s first responsibility is to protect the safety and well-being of every one of our students. Over the past week, I have been made aware of three separate matters in which adult members of our community are alleged to have fallen short of that responsibility."