Thetford Academy Informs Parents of Allegations Against Student

  • Thetford Academy Head of School William Bugg speaks at a school function in Thetford, Vt., on December 10, 2016. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/20/2017 12:03:26 AM
Modified: 7/20/2017 4:23:41 PM

Thetford — Thetford Academy has notified parents of allegations of “sexual misconduct” by a male student at the school, accusations that came to light as the spring semester was ending, according to school officials.

Thetford Academy Head of School William Bugg informed the community that the allegations were brought forward by “several” female students and that they involve one male student.

“These allegations are deeply disturbing and incredibly disheartening, as they do not reflect the values that we work so hard to instill in our students here at Thetford Academy,” Bugg wrote in a letter dated July 11. “Due to the nature of the allegations and the ongoing confidential investigation, we are limited in what we can say about the matter.”

In response to Valley News questions on Wednesday, Bugg said he couldn’t provide any details about the nature of the allegations, nor could he comment on the number of victims, their ages or whether officials are concerned there may be additional allegations forthcoming.

In his letter to the community, Bugg urged people who are “aware of an incident that requires our attention,” to contact Dean of Students Siobhan Lopez or police.

He also wouldn’t comment on the age of the accused, but he said minors are involved.

“If I provided their age or grade, it is identifying information,” he said.

Thetford Academy enrolls 336 students in grades seven through 12.

School officials reported the allegations to the Vermont Department for Children and Families and law enforcement as required by law, Bugg said.

Detective Lt. Scott Clouatre of the Orange County Special Investigations Unit is involved in the case, he said.

Several messages left for Clouatre weren’t returned on Wednesday.

Orange County State’s Attorney William Porter said he hasn’t received a case report. If one were submitted, there are protections in place for juveniles that could prevent him from commenting on the case in the future, he said.

Bugg said on Wednesday that since sending the letter last week, he has heard from a half dozen parents, a few of whom sought more information on the subject.

“Our aim is to keep the lines of communication with our families open, and I anticipate providing updates as the investigation progresses, taking into account the confidentiality of the minors involved,” Bugg told the Valley News.

While the school is closed for summer break until next month, school officials have arranged access to counselors for students, families, faculty and staff.

“Our primary responsibility is and always will be the safety, health, and well-being of all members of our community,” Bugg wrote. “We will do everything in our power to provide our students and staff the compassion and resources needed to ensure that the Thetford Academy community remains supportive and strong, both now and in the future.”

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at or 603-727-3248.

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