Haverhill Schools Continue Investigation of Claims Following History Teacher’s Resignation

Haverhill High School. (WHAV News file photograph.)

A Haverhill High School teacher, under investigation for allegations of sexual misconduct posted on social media, has resigned.

Haverhill school Superintendent Margaret Marotta told WHAV the notice from Zachary N. Simmons has no effect on a city-commissioned investigation being conducted by Boston law firm Stoneman, Chandler and Miller. The history teacher had been placed on paid leave pending the review.

“Zach Simmons has resigned. The investigation is continuing,” she said.

Prior to the appearance of claims on social media, Marotta told the School Committee last month, she was unaware of any past complaints.

“In the two years that I have been here, I know there have not been any uninvestigated concerns or complaints regarding sexual misconduct. We are looking into this deeply as we would any situation of this type,” she said.

Outside of social media, Simmons’ name and the nature of the allegations were raised publicly for the first time during the Sept. 3 School Committee meeting. Benjamin Roy, who identified himself as a member of the “Time’s Up Haverhill” Facebook group briefly mentioned Simmons’ name during the public comment segment of the meeting before being cut off.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini, chairman of the School Committee, warned speakers against using names.

“We’re well aware of why Mr. Roy was here and every allegation of this sort, every allegation of any sexual misconduct by any of our employees is taken very seriously. The school department is looking into the allegations and has hired outside council to assist them in the investigation. There will be a full, fair and impartial investigation,” Fiorentini said.

The mayor explained the city is subject to liability if it doesn’t follow a strict process.

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