Nicole Dufault, 36, of Caldwell, who is charged with sexually assaulting six male students at Columbia High School, appears in court with her attorney Timothy Smith for a hearing where Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin denied a motion from Smith to reconsider an earlier ruling. Newark, NJ 2/29/16 (Robert Sciarrino |


MAPLEWOOD — The teaching certificate of the Columbia High School teacher accused of sexually assaulting six of her male students has been revoked, pending the outcome of the criminal charges against her.

In a New Jersey Department of Education State Board of Examiners written decision adopted on June 23, Nicole Dufault's three teaching certificates – a Teacher of English Certificate of Eligibility With Advanced Standing issued in June 2001, a Teacher of English certificate issued in June 2002, and a Teacher of Elementary School in Grades K-5 certificate issued in April 2005 – were suspended.

She could appeal to the board to revoke the suspension, if the charges "are resolved in her favor," the decision reads.

The Board "finds that Dufault's potential disqualification from service in the public schools of this state because of her indictment for Aggravated Sexual Assault and Endangering the Welfare of a Child provides just cause to take action against her certificates," it states.

Who is Nicole Dufault?

Who is Nicole Dufault?

A divorced mother of two young sons, Nicole Dufault faced a series of marital troubles and taught at various schools in the northern New Jersey region where she grew up

In a statement to NJ Advance Media, Dufault's attorney, Timothy Smith, said the board was too quick to hand down the revocation.

In the statement, Smith reiterated the position he has held in court, that she was diagnosed with the neurological disorders "Dorsolateral Frontal Syndrome and Orbitofrontal Syndrome." The mother of two, he said, developed the disorders during her pregnancies. They required the placement of a shunt in her brain, he said.

"This in turn created cognitive deficits consistent with a neurocognitive disorder. It also rendered her highly susceptible to duress," Smith said.

"Given the unique complexities associated with this case, and the presumption of innocence that Ms. Dufault is cloaked with, the decision of the board of examiners is clearly premature."

Last year, a grand jury handed down a 40-count indictment against Dufault, who is accused of sexually assaulting six 14 and 15-year-old boys on multiple occasions between July 2013 and August 2014. The sexual acts, authorities have said, took place in Dufault's classroom and car.

In addition to the boys' allegations, authorities say they have obtained a cell phone video that allegedly shows Dufault performing sex acts on two of the boys.

The 36-year-old Language Arts teacher has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Jessica Mazzola