Maryvale teacher accused of inappropriate behavior, placed on leave

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CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Maryvale Middle School teacher has been placed on leave by the district after former students signed an online petition accusing him of lewd behavior.

Several women are now claiming that Jim Sionko, who works in the school’s technology department, acted inappropriately in front of them when they were students.

It first started as a Facebook post when a woman who went to Maryvale Middle School asked others if they remembered Jim Sionko. In the post, the former student said Sionko would purposely drop things in order to look down the shirts of the female students who would pick them up. She also said he would ask inappropriate questions to young girls in class – including whether they had sex yet or not.

After another student saw this post, she told News 4 she decided to create that petition, asking others who had incidents with Sionko to share their stories. It now has more than 1,000 signatures.

According to Cheektowaga Police Asst. Chief Brian Gould, a school resource officer saw the petition and brought it to the department’s attention; no victims went directly to law enforcement. In a statement, Maryvale Superintendent Joseph D’Angelo said once they were alerted to the allegations involving Sionko, they immediately placed him on leave.

When asked for comment, Sionko refused and asked News 4 to no longer contact him.

Cheektowaga police are continuing this investigation, asking any victim to contact their department. At this time, Sionko has not been charged with any crime.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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