Providence City Council tables school investigation measure

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence City Council tabled a resolution Thursday night regarding abuse allegations against an elementary school gym teacher.

The measure calls for an independent investigation into the molestation charges against James Duffy. The council recommended the resolution be considered by the education committee.

Duffy, 53, a gym teacher at Harry Kizirian Elementary School, was placed on paid administrative leave after three female students reported being inappropriately touched by him.

School administrators also came under fire after it was revealed the allegations went unreported to the state Department of Children, Youth and Families, despite it being required by state law.

The Providence School Board held an emergency meeting on the matter Wednesday night, during which it created a working group to review the district’s emergency protocols and ordered all of the city’s school administrators to be retrained on those protocols.

The board also plans to conduct its own investigation into the apparent mishandling of the allegations, but won’t do so until police conclude their investigation.