West Orange Interim Superintendent Posts Statement Regarding Teacher Arrest

February 10, 2013 at 10:51 AM

WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Orange Interim Superintendent James O'Neill posted a statement regarding the arrest of fifth grade teacher Christopher Yonitch on the school website. (Note: The statement was posted on the West Orange School District website on Thursday, February 7).

Superintendent O’Neill’s Statement Regarding Washington School

On February 6, 2013 the Washington School Principal and I were notified of allegations that one of our 5th grade elementary teachers was being investigated.  During the day we cooperated with the police and facilitated opportunities for investigators to speak with the teacher and any students who might be able to shed light on the allegations.  I was notified early this morning that the teacher had been arrested.  I immediately notified the teacher via email and certified mail that he is suspended indefinitely effective immediately.  This is now a police matter; we will secure the services of a certified teacher for that class for the remainder of the school year.  

Our highest priority is student safety.  We have responded to this disconcerting and disheartening development promptly and with the strongest action we are legally empowered to take.  We will closely monitor the case and the charges.  Most importantly any and all children who require or seek counseling will have open access to our district professionals for as long as necessary.

Jim O’Neill, Interim Superintendent 
West Orange Board of Education
179 Eagle Rock Ave
West Orange, NJ 07052
973-669-5400 x 20512

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In other West Orange Public School district news, a Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 11, 8:00 pm in the Library Media Center at West Orange High School.  The preliminary agenda is available for review at:


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