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Oxford Hills School Board places superintendent on paid leave

Superintendent Monica Henson is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations that she inappropriately restrained a student in September.

PARIS, Maine — The Oxford Hills School Board on Wednesday placed Superintendent Monica Henson on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations she inappropriately restrained a student in September.

After emerging from a more than three-hour executive session, the board voted unanimously to release a statement announcing that Henson would be on leave.

The board did not vote in public session to place Henson on leave.

School Board chairperson Natalie Andrews did not return a phone call seeking clarification on Thursday. Board vice-chairperson Jared Cash told NEWS CENTER Maine he could not comment on what took place during the executive session.

Henson is under investigation by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Oxford County Sheriff's Office after allegedly inappropriately restraining a child at Agnes Gray Elementary School in September.

Following is the statement released Wednesday by the board:

"Dear members of the Oxford Hills community, 

"Over the last few weeks, we have heard the many voices, the many different perspectives about issues concerning Superintendent Henson's leadership of our school administrative district. We continue to receive texts, emails, and calls, and we are sorting through all the varied communications. This effort requires time to conduct a proper and complete investigation, a thorough consideration of the issues presented, consultation with our legal advisers, and careful deliberation of all that we have learned. We ask for your understanding as we gather and evaluate all the relevant information. 

"As the school board, we are accountable to you and committed to resolving the matters before us with integrity. In fairness to all parties involved, including Dr. Henson, she will be on paid administrative leave while the board works to a resolution. 

"Please know that we take very seriously our responsibility to place the best interest of our students at the center of this process. We promise this mission is first and foremost in our minds. 

"We express our sincere gratitude for your patience as we do our work." 

This comes after Oxford Hills teachers cast a vote of no confidence for the superintendent following an incident where she allegedly used force against a student.

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