CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Chappaqua Schools Superintendent Lyn McKay acknowledged former Horace Greeley High School drama teacher Christopher Schraufnagel's acceptance of a plea deal in his criminal sex-abuse case.
In a community email blast sent out to parents on Friday, McKay noted that the school district played no role in the deal, which was agreed to by Schraufnagel and the Westchester County District Attorney's office.
Under the deal, Schraufnagel entered guilty pleas to three misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of the child; he admitted to sexual contact with two Greeley students and non-sexual, emotionally injurious contact with a third. The deal, which is subject to final approval by New Castle Town Justice Douglas Kraus, calls for the district attorney's office to drop a felony sex-abuse count and for both parties to forgo a trial. It also calls for Schraufnagel to serve three years of probation with monitoring like that of a convicted sex offender.
A copy of McKay's email is below, with italics added for visual differentiation. Previous coverage of Schraufnagel's plea deal can be read here.
Dear Chappaqua Families,
I hope you are enjoying your summer and it is one of rest, relaxation, fun, and family.
This summer, our community has seen an increase in articles and media coverage as legal action regarding Christopher Schraufnagel, a former theatre program teacher at the high school, moves forward. We recognize that this is a challenging time for our community.
With yesterday's announced proposed plea agreement between Chris Schraufnagel and the Westchester County District Attorney's office, it appears that the criminal case is drawing to a close. The District had no role in the reported proposed plea deal and is not yet familiar with all of the details. As Superintendent, my continued focus is on our students and the community as we go through the healing process.
While we will not comment publicly, our students' safety and well-being remain our top priority. We took many steps immediately after the allegations came to light including bringing in numerous outside professionals to offer support and counseling. We continue to offer these services. We continue to focus on our students.
As I stated at the Board of Education meeting on August 2, we take privacy, especially when it comes to students, very seriously. It is the practice of this District not to comment on personnel and student matters and not to make statements regarding matters in litigation. The District will continue to protect the privacy rights of its students and that is why you never see any statements from the District in the media other than, "The District does not comment on any legal matters."
We have been and continue to be committed to providing support for students, families, and staff. Please know that our clinical staff and guidance counselors are available and are well-prepared to address concerns. Our administrators and faculty also are available to support and help you find appropriate resources.
Finally, we wish to thank those members of the community who have so generously offered their support to our students and our school community. Chappaqua is a terrific town in which to raise children and in which to live. We support each other and treat each other like extended family. As a school district, we see this community spirit and this willingness to help manifested in many different ways every day.
We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer. Our summer has been filled with planning for the upcoming school year and we are confident that it will be exciting and successful. We will be ready for our students to return on September 6 and we look forward to seeing all of you.