After a week of an unexplained absence it was announced today that Hull Public Schools Superintendent Michael Devine is under investigation.
WHDH: The superintendent of Hull Public Schools is on leave pending a meeting on Wednesday focused on allegations of misconduct, officials said. Superintendent Michael Devine, who has been with the district in various roles for 12 years, took a leave of absence after allegations of recent personal misconduct were made to the School Committee, according to Acting Superintendent Judith Kuehn. The committee is hiring an independent investigator to review the allegations and the police department has been notified. The School Committee will meet behind closed doors in executive session to discuss Devine on Feb. 5.
Whenever a scandal like this hits a small town the rumor mill quickly spreads, so it’s important to make sure that only factual information is being reported. Some of the community Facebook groups are banning any speculation as to what happened, as he appears to be a well liked superintendent and former principal.
However, after speaking with sources in Hull directly in contact with the former student at the center of this investigation, we do have some new information to report:
- Michael Devine is being accused of sending sexual text messages to a 21 year old male who he met in his capacity as principal of Hull High School
- He got the former student’s contact information while he was a student, but it is not clear if communications began before or after graduation
- The sexual messages did not begin until recently
- The student is not gay, but came from a background that made him a vulnerable target
- The former student came forward to the School Committee who reviewed the sexually graphic text messages
- Parents in the community are arguing that he used his position to “groom” this student
- Parents we spoke with are concerned that he’s done this with other students, and possibly could’ve been grooming kids at his former jobs in Hanover and Norwell
If the allegations are true then no crime has been committed. However, most would agree that it’s unethical for a superintendent to use his position working with children to build a database that he can send sexual text messages to after they graduate. And it’s certainly hard for the School Committee to keep someone in charge of the schools, knowing this occurred.
If he’s done this with more than one student then it makes it a lot worse. I’m curious to see if more former or current students come forward. My inbox is open at email@example.com if anyone would like to chat on or off the record. All sources can remain anonymous, so long as I verify that you’re legit for my own due diligence.
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