Aide at Upper West Side School Charged with Sex Abuse: Cops

The aide has been reassigned.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A teacher's aide at an Upper West Side public school was arrested Friday on suspicion that he sexually abused a child at the school, according to school and police officials.

    Gregory Atkins, a 56-year-old aide at PS 87, was picked up and charged with attempted criminal sex acts and other sex abuse charges relating to an incident with an underage student, police said.

    Atkins has been reassigned to a central Department of Education office where he won't have contact with children, according to a letter sent Friday to parents from Monica Berry, the principal of the school.

    "On Friday, February 3rd, we learned of an allegation that Gregory Atkins, a paraprofessional at PS 87, may have sexually abused a student at our school, " said Berry's note, which was sent home in backpacks to parents at the popular school. "Upon learning of this allegation, we immediately notified the Police Department and the Special Commissioner of Education."

    Atkins worked at the West 78th Street school since 2009 and worked for the Department of Education since 2001.

    Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said in a statement that the city is taking the allegation "very seriously." He said he visited the school Friday to offer his support and help to the principal.

    This is not the first time Atkins has been accused of an inappropriate relationship with a student, authorities said.

    In 2006, the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the schools recommended that Atkins be disciplined for a series of inappropriate gestures toward a student.

    He is in custody and was not immediately available for comment.

    The arrest comes days after another public school teacher's aide has been accused of making child pornography at the Crown Heights school where he worked.