A beloved teacher in Manchester, New Hampshire, has been fired after 30 years on the job.
Trinity High School Principal Denis Mailloux says math teacher Billy Sheehan broke the code of conduct and now that he’s been dismissed, he’ll never again be able to work at a Catholic school in New Hampshire.
Students and parents are standing behind their beloved teacher.
“He’s basically the reason I got through high school,” said 2015 Trinity graduate Kelly Moloney.
She and her sister, Shannon, and their friend, Nora Landry, are just a few of the more than 850 people who signed an online petition to “Bring Back Mr. Sheehan.”
“He doesn’t teach math, he teaches students, he teaches them life,” Shannon Moloney said. “You want to be better because he is so good.”
On a Monday morning in March when students showed up to school, Landry said Sheehan’s desk was cleared out and they had a new math teacher.
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“I actually started crying to my English teacher because I didn’t know what was going on and I was scared,” she recalled.
It wasn’t until this Monday that the school principal explained as best he could the private, personnel matter, saying Sheehan violated the school’s code of conduct. In part, Principal Mailloux wrote, “Let me be clear, Mr. Sheehan broke no laws… However, he did engage in behavior and communications with students that clearly violated diocesan and school policies.”
“After reading the letter we were disappointed,” said Josh Wright, whose daughter will be a Trinity junior next year.
He says there’s nothing in that letter that makes him question whether or not she was safe with Sheehan.
“We really felt like Sheehan deserved a second chance,” Wright said Wednesday.
A community member that NBC Boston spoke to, who didn’t want to go on camera or be identified, said there’s a side of the story that would raise concerns with any parent.
But that’s hard to believe for the parents and students who say they know Sheehan best.
“I don’t know what my son talks about with Billy but I’m OK with that because it’s Billy Sheehan and I trust Billy with my son,” said another Trinity parent, Bob O’Sullivan.
Several attempts to reach Sheehan for comment went unanswered.