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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The first of two North Hills School District meetings aimed at giving parents and guardians advice on how best to talk to children about potential sexual abuse in school was held Wednesday night in the high school auditorium.
But, because of pointed questions from the audience, the topic quickly turned to something that wasn’t supposed to be on the agenda.
North Hills physical education teacher Nathan Buttenfield was charged Tuesday after one of his students reported that he inappropriately touched her during gym, including once, when the lights were turned off.
At the meeting, North Hills School Superintendent Patrick Mannarino said, “I don’t know what every teacher does in their classroom, every period of the day. But, I can tell you, I don’t condone a gym class in the dark. Whenever I heard it at first, I couldn’t believe it. And, it’s not going to happen again.
“I don’t take any of this lightly. I’m as sick as you are, it’s not easy to be here tonight,” Mannarino added.
Russell Poole, a parent who attended the meeting, told KDKA-TV News that he was pleased with what he heard.
“I think they’re doing everything they need to do to keep the kids safe,” said Poole.
Ross Township Police applauded the quick reaction by the district after it became aware of the alleged teacher wrongdoing.
“Right after the parents came to the school district with this potential incident, the district reached out to us. I was talking to the parents within half an hour or so,” Det. Brian Kohlhepp said.