A teacher at Staples High School has been placed on administrative leave after police told school officials Wednesday the teacher is under investigation in an apparent criminal case.

In a brief announcement to parents that had few details, school officials said that police told them the teacher had been placed under investigation because of information that initially was provided by the school. Officials said they also had notified the state Department of Children and Families about their concerns.

Police on Thursday would confirm only that they are investigating a complaint, and that a statement would be issued when the probe is completed.

As a result of the police investigation, school officials said the unidentified teacher was "immediately" place on administrative leave. They said they will "cooperate fully" with the investigation.

"Safety is our highest priority for our students and staff, and we will take all action necessary to assure that our schools are safe for all members of the school community," school officials said in the emailed announcement.

On Thursday, Board of Education Chairman Michael Gordon referred questions to police.

"The safety and security of our students are our highest priorities," Gordon said in a brief statement. "School administrators acted quickly to refer this matter to the authorities. The superintendent is monitoring the situation, and he may be recommending board action at the appropriate time in the future. The district is cooperating with the Westport Police Department, and I would refer any further questions at this time to the department, as this is a law-enforcement matter."

Updates later at the Westport News: www.westport-news.com.