Psychologist tells parents warning signs of teacher/minor relationships

STRATFORD, CT (WTNH) — 28-year-old Michelle Sulzicki, a teachers aid employed by the Stratford School District, is one of a growing number of educators in Connecticut to be accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a juvenile. From Madison, to Danbury, Westport to Wilton, a handful of similar accusations have come out this year alone.

Dr. Laura Saunders is a psychologist at the Institute of Living and has worked with adults with feelings of attraction towards juveniles and she says while it might appear more teachers are engaging in inappropriate relationships with minors it’s unlikely that’s actually case.

“Probably some of this has been going on for all of time, but we’re more aware as a society of why it’s wrong” said Saunders.

What motivates a teacher to engage in an inappropriate relationship varies from case to case, but Dr. Saunders tells News 8 there are warning signs parents should watch out for to keep their kids safe.

They include;

-If a child is focused on only one person in a position of leadership
-If the child feels an unusual amount of attachment towards said person
-And take notice of their behavior

“They’re going to change in terms of their mood, their behavior, they’re going to seem different, maybe overly focused or overly distracted, you’re going to see significant changes in their behavior because this relationship creates a different dynamic,” she said.

In Sulzicki’s case, she’s been charged with 2 counts of sexual assault, one count of illegal sexual contact with a minor, and one count of risk of injury to a minor. Sulzicki is being held tonight at $100,000 bond.

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