Stony Brook School parents seek answers at forum following teacher arrest

BREWSTER – Hundreds of concerned parents and residents packed the Stony Brook Elementary School auditorium as they sought more information about a teacher arrested on sexual assault charges.

Nauset Regional School Superintendent Tom Conrad and Brewster Police Chief Heath Eldredge answered questions about the case surrounding Noah Campbell-Halley.

“These are difficult days. I am sick to my stomach that an issued like this has happened,” said Conrad.

He said he could “see the anguish” in the faces of parents and promised to make changes where needed in school protocols.

Conrad said a team of school psychologists would be in hand in the coming days to help students and staff.

Chief Eldredge said he was “disheartened and sickened” when he learned of the allegations, and said his department was ready to assist families who have been impacted.

Campbell-Halley, 36, was arrested and charged yesterday with sexually assaulting at least two students in the school.

Representatives from Children’s Cove, the county’s resource for child sexual abuse, told parents how to talk with their children about the news.

Community Education and Outreach Coordinator Jacob Stapleton told parents how to look for red flags with their children.

He also explained how to have a conversation with children about the topic, how to respond if their child discloses sexual abuse and how to have conversations about personal safety.

“You know your children better than any anyone,” Stapleton said in urging parents to be on the lookout for any changed behavior.

Possible warning signs include trouble sleeping, change in eating habits, regression in behavior and developing fears about going to certain places on spending time with certain people.

He told parents to use open-ended questions when asking children about potential abuse.

“Has anyone asked you to keep a secret, has there even been a time when you have felt unsafe?”

Stapleton also urged parents to talk with kids about body safety.

If a child make a disclosure about sexual abuse, the experts said a parent should be calm, strong and thank the child for telling them.

During the time questions, parents asked whether the teacher had ever been reported in the past, what should they say to their kids about the teacher and what new measures would be put in place to ensure the school is safe.

School officials promised heightened awareness in the coming days.
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