Suspended Hopatcong Teacher Probe Continues
School board voted to suspend high school teacher Hilary Gorzelnik, 31, a month ago amid accusations she might have had inappropriate contact with students.
A month after suspending Hopatcong High School physical education teacher Hilary Gorzelnik, the district is still investigating accusations the 31-year-old might have had inappropriate communications with students, Superintendent Dr. Charles Maranzano said.
"These things take time," Maranznao said. "Right now, it's in legal hands. I don't have anything to report if that's what you're asking. There's nothing at this point we can share now."
The Board of Education suspended Gorzelink with pay at a special meeting at 7:30 a.m. June 6, but the investigation into the girls soccer coach and drivers' education instructor has been ongoing for about six weeks.
Maranzano said he recommended the suspension to the school board. Maranzano has also said Gorzelnik was suspended to keep her away from students until the end of the investigation, though he hasn't said what exactly she's been accused of doing.
Tosti also said the investigation was ongoing and that he couldn't comment further on the matter. However, when asked if the school board's decision to suspend Gorzelnik met requirements in the district's teacher policy under the title "Conduct Unbecoming of a Tenured Staff Member," Tosti said the "board does act in accordance of its policy" and that "it's reviewed quite a few policies regarding this pending matter."
New Jersey Education Association Director of Communications Steve Wollmer couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.
Gorzelnik, a seventh-year teacher in the district, has received legal representation from the NJEA. Wollmer said in June the district had little hard evidence of any wrongdoing by Gorzelnik and that it has "failed to uncover anything other than rumors."
"No factual evidence has turned up" against Gorzelnik, who has a "spotless reputation," Wolmer said last month.
Gorzelnik can be suspended with pay until the end of the district's investigation. After that, the district must either reinstate Gorzelnik, discipline her short of dismissal or file tenure dismissal charges. If tenure dismissal charges are filed, she can be suspended for 120 days without pay while the case is hashed out in court.