WEST ORANGE, NJ - (Updated) Erica DePalo, a West Orange High School English teacher, is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct with a West Orange student. Ms. DePalo's car was impounded as part of the investigation. CBS News camera crews were at West Orange High School this afternoon, questioning students about the alleged misconduct. CBS incorrectly stated, however, that Ms. DePalo had been arrested. A phone call to Katherine Carter, spokesperson for the Essex County Prosecutor's office, confirmed that Ms. DePalo had not been arrested yet. The Alternative Press of West Orange has learned that she plans to turn herself in to police, with her attorney present.
Interim Superintendent James O'Neill released a statement, saying,
"The district has taken strong action by suspending the employee immediately and indefinitely. The school district will cooperate with the prosecutor's office in every way."
Students and former students expressed their surprise at the allegations, saying they would wait and see what came of the charges. Counselors will be available at the high school for students.
Ms. DePalo has been part of the West Orange School District since 2003 and was named Essex County Teacher of the Year in 2011.