Andover Public Schools to Seek Independent Investigation of High School Varsity Hockey Program

Andover High School
Philip Conrad, Principal
80 Shawsheen Road
Andover, MA 01810

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

Andover Public Schools to Seek Independent Investigation of High School Varsity Hockey Program

ANDOVER — Andover High School Principal Philip Conrad announces that he is seeking authority to retain an independent professional to conduct the school’s investigation into the varsity hockey program.

Two weeks ago, Principal Conrad was notified by the Department of Children and Families that the state agency had opened an investigation into allegations of neglect by Andover High School varsity hockey coaches. As a result of this notification, three coaches were placed on administrative leave, which is the standard operating procedure in municipal government when a public employee is under investigation.

DCF had told the school district to hold off on performing its own investigation while DCF investigated the charges which were filed with it. Late this past week, however, DCF notified the school district that it may begin its own investigation at this time, even though the DCF investigation remains ongoing. The school district therefore can begin its own investigation immediately and it will do so.

“Given the level of public interest in this situation and the need to have a finding which cannot be challenged for any reason, as well as the fact that the coaches have a reporting relationship to me as their supervisor, I feel that it is in the best interests of Andover High School to retain professional services,” Principal Conrad said. “An independent investigator will provide an objective, holistic review of this situation, which will aid us greatly as we move forward from this unfortunate situation.”

With the permission and approval of the school committee, Principal Conrad intends to select a reputable independent professional promptly.

Principal Conrad wishes to emphasize that the school’s investigation is a standard procedure and the reaction to notification from the state of alleged improper actions by the hockey coaches. It is not a rush to judgement, but an attempt to ascertain the facts and protect the students involved.

“What has been lost in some of the public discord and social media discussion is that the students come first for us. If anything improper or inappropriate was occurring in our hockey program that potentially endangers the health, welfare, and safety of our students, we want to know so that we can take the appropriate steps to prevent it from ever happening again,” Principal Conrad said. “This is not about a rush to judgement. It’s about doing the right thing and protecting our children above all else.”