CUBA, N.Y. - A substitute teacher from Cuba in Allegany County is accused of forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child.
Troopers say Thomas M. Wight, 26, started trading pictures with a 16-year-old using Snapchat while he was teaching at a Dansville School. He is also accused of forcibly touching that student off school property while he was a teacher in the Arkport Central School District.
State Police say the inappropriate communication began about a year ago. Investigators say the forcible touching happened sometime in the past few months. Someone notified police June 10th. Wight was arrested June 13th.
Investigators believe there are at least five or six other victims.
Wight also previously taught in the Cuba-Rushford and Fillmore Central districts. If you have any information, you're asked to contact New York State Police at (585) 344-6200.
Wight is currently in the Allegany County jail.
Dansville Superintendent Paul Alioto sent the following letter to parents:
June 14, 2017
I’m writing to inform you that a former substitute teacher, Thomas Wight, who worked at Dansville High School in 2015 was recently arrested by the New York State Police based in Amity, Allegany County.
Mr. Wight was employed here to teach 9th grade English from January 14, 2015 to June 25, 2015. He also worked in 7th grade and 9th grade English classrooms for 3 days in October 2015.
He has not worked here since October 2015 though he has worked in other school systems.
This morning I was informed that Mr. Wight had been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and forcible touching.
If Mr. Wight has attempted to contact you, your son or daughter, or someone you know, please contact Mr. Frazier, DHS Principal at 585.335.4010 or School Resource Officer Robert Holt at 585.447.3905 or me at 585.335.4000 x2300.
Paul J. Alioto
Superintendent of Schools
Arkport Schools posted the following information on the district website:
June 13, 2017 -- Earlier today, an Arkport Central School District employee, Thomas Wight, was arrested by the New York State Police and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and forcible touching, both Class A misdemeanors. The charges do not involve Arkport students and the alleged crimes took place during non-school hours and off school property.
Wight has served as a long-term substitute teacher with the district since January 2017, and most recently worked with students in the junior/senior high school. He was placed on paid administrative leave by Arkport Superintendent Jesse Harper on Sunday, June 11, as a result of preliminary information the superintendent received June 9 regarding Wight’s out-of-school conduct. In light of his arrest this afternoon, Arkport Board of Education members will vote on rescinding his appointment at its Wednesday evening meeting.
“The safety and well-being of our students remains our top priority,” Harper said. “We are shocked by the alleged actions of this individual, and are committed to providing the safety and support that our students and community expect and deserve.”
State Police are asking Arkport community members to please come forward if their child has had any contact with Wight outside of school hours. Individuals with information may contact either the Arkport Office of the Superintendent or Student Services at 607-295-7471.
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