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Virginia woman indicted on heroin charges hired as first grade teacher

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  1. Rob Cypher
    Franklin, Va. – Parents at S.P. Morton Elementary school say school leaders should have done their homework, after hiring a woman following her arrest for distributing heroin.

    36-year old Elizabeth Ferguson was indicted on two felony charges of Distribution of Heroin on September 22nd, according to court documents.

    Then just one week later, on September 29th, Ferguson was hired as a first grade teacher with Franklin City Schools.

    “I`m mad,” said grandmother Ernestine Manley. “Nobody ever told me as a grandparent that this actually happened.”

    Franklin City Schools spokesperson Kelvin Edwards says parents didn’t know because school officials themselves had no idea.

    “Did we know about her charges? The answer is no, we did not,” he said.

    That’s because Edwards says in Ferguson’s case, she was hired with a background check pending. Meaning she was teaching before her results came in.

    “It should have never happened. You are careful with the system, why did the system fail that time?” Manley added.

    NewsChannel 3 stopped by Ferguson’s house Monday and her mother answered the door. She told NewsChannel she believes her daughter was innocent and says Ferguson didn’t know there were even charges against her when she applied as a teacher. Ferguson was suspended with pay until Monday morning, which is when she officially resigned.

    Edwards says her resignation was immediately accepted.

    Parents tell NewsChannel 3 she should have never been hired in the first place.

    “It’s very scary,” said upset mom Lamanesia Boone.

    Edwards says he wouldn’t be surprise if changes in school policy begin at the next school board meeting.

    “It’s something we definitely need to look at,” Edwards said. “We can always look at revising policy because there is always an opportunity for improvement.”

    Ferguson is expected to be back in Suffolk Circuit Court in January.

    Nadeen Yates
    WTKR-TV (Newschannel 3)
    December 15, 2014

    http://wtkr.com/2014/12/15/woman-indicted-on-heroin-charges-hired-as-first-grade-teacher/

Comments

  1. Name goes here
    What happened to innocent until proven guilty? An arrest is not a conviction.
  2. mer kaba
    when a cop nocks on your car window and asks for your ID, your possibly guilty until proven innocent.
  3. Name goes here
    Without going into long winded answer, spend some time looking up what you are required to give the police in your state. Except for moving violations, you are innocent until a judge determines otherwise.
  4. chupamivergaguey
    This story is just sad. I don't feel outraged or angry or frightened or anything but sadness. This woman is in for a rough legal road ahead that will drain all her resources. She may never recover from it, especially if she has a habit. If America can't discriminate against people based on gender, race, sexul orientation, and belief system, the only people left to discriminate against will be addicts, convicts, and pedophiles. It seems we need need new people to discriminate against to maintain our humanity. Might I suggest embezzlers, pyramid and ponzi schemesters, bankers, and insurance companies?
  5. Booty love
    since when does distributing heroin effect how a person teaches?? maybe if the state paid her a little more, teachers are so underpaid, then she wouldn't have to resort to selling drugs! i mean how many of us could have been in her same shoes...and i am still capable of being a good teacher. this report doesn't give much background on why she was selling. does one drug deal gone wrong and yes... a busted drug deal is wrong, define her as a person?? in all honesty teachers, or any job involving minors should not be on the job without a completely cleared background check.

    the school district is the main culprit of this sad story.
  6. Sarahbeth
    This is horrible. A teacher should NEVER be hired pending a background check. When parents are trusting their children's lives with someone else every precaution should be taken before that person was ever hired. I don't care if she is distributing or using there is no way I would want this women as my child's teacher.
  7. Alfa
    @SarahBeth I can surely understand where you are coming from but there are many unknowns here. I agree that it's not suitable for a heroin dealer to be a teacher. Even if the heroin dealer never sells to kids then its still just bad reputation for the school and worries for parents.
    In general heroin use is not a sign of a healthy life style or role model for kids. But there are some valid reasons that could be at play.

    How would you feel if a teacher needs to take Oxycodone or another opiate medicine for a serious pain problem?
    I think that paints another picture that would be acceptable for most parents and school.
    But that does imply an opiate addiction with ever increasing tolerance and horrible withdrawals, which cant be just cut off. If for some reasons the teacher no longer has access to prescribed opiates then heroin is the most likely alternative. This is actually one of the most prevalent reasons for heroin addiction in the USA.
    In such a circumstance I think medical and social help is likely to be more appropriate than rejection and prosecution.
  8. Sarahbeth
    @Alfa My point here is that no teacher should ever be hired without a full background check being cleared first. I work in the corporate world and I have never started a job without clearing a background check and in my opinion my job isn't near as important as being in charge of children's lives on a day to day basis.

    To your question how I would feel if my child's teacher took oxycodone or opiates daily while teaching and taking care of my them to be honest I would not like that either for many of the reasons you pointed out in your post. Being a parent it is my right and my duty to make sure my children have the best care possible and in my opinion they wouldn't have that if this were the case.

    I understand that a major cause of heroin addiction is started with pain medications and that is a very sad thing. I do believe that when people turn to heroin it is their choice though and they should have to deal with the consequences of doing so. If this lady was a heroin deal or user that was by choice so she should have to deal with the consequences that came along with that decision.
  9. Name goes here
    Unless you are/were a user, it's almost impossible to spot a functional user. Every profession has drug users from being janitor to CEO. Opiate users are almost indistinguishable from sober people unless they are nodding off or have track marks showing.

    With that said, my only concern with a teacher using heroin is the chance they use while at work. Since heroin can differ in quality between bags, there is a chance the teacher could overdose while watching the kids. If that same user was taking a prescription opiate that is identical pill after pill, I believe they would be just as functional as any other teacher. Assuming she was using for pain, how could anyone be upset if she was using to function? Should people who live in pain not be allowed relief while working? Lots of times is impossible for people in pain to get a legitimate prescription.

    I'm not a heroin user nor do I chase a high. I do use opiates to control my back/leg pain. Nobody I work with, parents at the school my kids attend or anyone who isn't a friend knows I use drugs. I am first a father before anything else. There is nothing I do that would jeopardise my parenting with the exception of getting what I need to function. There are days I couldn't get out of bed without opiates due to pain. What kind of father could I be not being able to function? Limiting the knowledge of my usage also limits the risk I have of getting caught getting drugs.

    Honestly, I do have a problem with her dealing. The nature of dealing street drugs comes with a number of its own risks. That part of her life could be dangerous and therefore she wouldn't be fit to be a teacher. Chances are she was selling to help feed her own habit but it's irresponsible to be around kids and "real" dealers in the same day.

    I'm rambling a little but I'm exhausted.
  10. reef88
    I'd say innocent until proven guilty until I saw her face in that picture. She's got "good for nothing heroin addict" written all over her face. Did I offend anyone? lol
  11. Cwb20022
    A distribution charge doesn't necessarily mean she was selling. If i went and picked up drugs for my friends. When i give them the drugs. I just distributed drugs.

    It's a common mistake people make. No matter how much drugs. Always say its for personal use. I guess people think the cop will look at them better if they say "its not all mine, me and my friends went in on the charge." As soon as you say that. Your admitting on intending to distribute.

    @reef88. I was unaware of this good for nothing heroin addict face. Based on a mugshot none the less. I'm glad you pointed it out. Cause apparently i know alot i didn't know about according to you.
  12. reef88
    I'm not saying she is, I'm just saying she looks like one to me. That or she had a terrible day lol

    By the way, people tend to get offended so easily. I've never understood why.
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