Some parents defending Newark teacher, who was allowed in school despite investigation

Newark parent Amy Hernandez says both her students were taught by Shawn Flanagan in school, and both looked up to him.

“Anytime the kids came into school, they wanted to go to Mr. Flanagan’s room in the morning before class, they wanted to go after school,” said Hernandez.

Flanagan was found dead in his home last Thursday, one day after police searched his home and confiscated electronic devices, which the police chief says are under forensic analysis.

Flanagan was a science teacher in the Newark Central School District until his death, which police said is not considered suspicious.

Police say a school staff member went to check on Flanagan when he didn’t show up for work.

Hernandez was shocked by his death, but familiar with the ongoing police investigation. She says her kids were interviewed by police in July, though neither have alleged any inappropriate behavior.

“I know the man. Our family has spent time with him, he was at my daughter’s wedding,” said Hernandez. “We’ve done Christmases with him, we’ve done barbecues with him.”

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