New Hampshire

School Fires Teacher Under Investigation for Sex Misconduct

A New Hampshire school has fired a teacher who was arrested late last month for alleged sexual misconduct while he was employed by a different school.

Thursday, Derryfield School in Manchester announced it had fired 47-year-old David Pook, who faces two counts of witness tampering and two counts of conspiracy to commit perjury.

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office says Pook's arrest came as a result of a 2017 report concerning sexual assaults by teachers on their students at St. Paul's School.

That investigation has followed inappropriate behavior such as student sexual conquest rituals like the "senior salute," a practice which led to the arrest and conviction of Owen Labrie in 2015.

Authorities said Pook taught at the Concord prep school for eight years but left under "questionable circumstances" in 2008.

Pook was employed at the Derryfield School in Manchester since 2009.

"At the time that David Pook was hired at Derryfield, as is our protocol, references were carefully checked and background checks were done," that school said in a statement. "However, references are only as good as the veracity of the source. St. Paul's School Rector, Michael Hirschfeld, issued a statement today saying, 'The school leadership [at St. Paul's School] at the time should never have given Mr. Pook a recommendation and the fact that it did not inform Derryfield of Mr. Pook's boundary issues was a failure for which we apologize.'"

According to the AG, the investigation focused on Pook's relationship with a female student at St. Paul's School while he was a teacher there.

As part of the investigation, that former student and Pook were called before a grand jury. Based on testimony and other evidence, authorities were able to bring charges against Pook.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges in the Merrimack County Superior Court on March 15.

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