July 2, 2014
This morning, a 5th grade teacher at the East Somerville Community School
was arrested by Somerville Police and arraigned at Somerville District Court on statutory rape and additional charges stemming from an alleged inappropriate relationship with a middle-school-aged child. The teacher, Alexandra Romanos, age 41, has taught in the District for seven years. The case is being prosecuted by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.
Nothing we can say will soften the impact that such news has on a community, particularly one as dedicated to nurturing and supporting our youth as Somerville. We are repulsed and angry that someone who made an oath to uphold the highest moral standards in the execution of her responsibilities as a teacher and a role model has allegedly blatantly violated that trust.
We recognize that there are many questions and concerns. We share those concerns and have many of the same questions. However, as this is an ongoing criminal investigation that involves confidential student information, there is little information that we are able to disclose.
What we can do is assure you that the safety and well-being of our students is always our highest priority, and upon learning of these shocking and very serious allegations, we took swift and immediate action. The Somerville Police was alerted within minutes and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families was notified by both the Somerville Police and Somerville Public Schools, an investigation was launched at once, and Ms. Romanos was also immediately placed on administrative leave and barred from all school properties and functions. The district is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation by law enforcement, and we will continue to keep parents and the community informed as more information becomes available.
Parents and guardians with questions for school administrators or who are seeking support services are encouraged to contact Director of Student Services Rich Melillo at 617-625-6600 ext. 6028 or firstname.lastname@example.org or School Information Officer Susana Hernandez-Morgan at 617-629-5221 email@example.com. We encourage anyone with information that they feel is relevant to the investigation to contact Sgt. Rich Lavey of the Somerville Police Department at 617-625-1600 ext. 7237.
As representatives of the City of Somerville and the Somerville Public Schools, we have also directed that the following measures be put in place:
• The Somerville Office of Constituent Services’ 24-hour hotline is open for parents, guardians, teachers, and others concerned who have questions about this situation. The number is 311 from landlines inside Somerville or 617-666-3311 from cell phones or from outside of Somerville.
• Somerville public schools will activate the Somerville Trauma Response Network and the Riverside Trauma Center to provide counseling and other resources for students, teachers, City staff, parents and guardians, for as long as it is needed. These counselors will also be available to talk to parents and guardians about how to approach this subject with their children.
• Our Parent Information Centers have interpreters on hand to assist families who speak Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole.
• A message has been sent to all school faculty and staff, as well as parents and guardians, to inform them of the situation and that resources are available to them.
• Somerville Police detectives are assisting our State partners in the investigation and are available to any parents who have specific concerns.
These resources will be available for as long as they are needed.
We are committed to keeping you informed as the investigation progresses.
–Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Superintendent of Schools Tony Pierantozzi