New Haven Teacher Placed On Leave Amid ‘Wet Willy’ Allegations

A mother in New Haven is angry about her daughter's fourth grade teacher telling another student to give the girl a "wet willy".

The teacher, who was not named, has been placed on leave as the school and the state's Department of Children and Families (DCF) investigates.

"It's nasty. It grossed me out," said Candace Cherry, who did not want to reveal the name of her 10-year-old daughter.

Cherry became concerned about an incident she said involved her daughter and the child's fourth grade teacher at the Wexler-Grant Community School last Monday.

The mother said the teacher had allowed the girl to put her head down on the desk and rest after finishing school work. Then, Cherry said, the teacher told another student to wet his finger in his mouth, then swirl it around in the girl's ear, also known as a "wet willy".

"My daughter said when she woke up, everyone was laughing at her and then they proceeded to tell her what happened," Cherry said.

The mother, her daughter, the teacher and principal met a last Tuesday to discuss what happened, according to Cherry.

The staff member was immediately placed on leave as school and DCF officials look into the allegations. 

"School administrators and district officials are investigating the matter in collaboration with DCF and will take appropriate action - based upon their findings - at the conclusion of that investigation," wrote Laurence Grotheer, the director of communications for the City of New Haven.

"I don't see giving her a pat on the wrist and say ‘don't do it again’," said John Adkins, the girl's grandfather. "It should be something a little harder than that."

School officials would not confirm the family's account of what happened, but did confirm that the teacher is on leave following an incident.  

A DCF representative said the department does not comment on ongoing cases.

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