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.
WTKR-TV (Newschannel 3)
December 15, 2014