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Teacher accused of abusing her children resigns from job

September 20, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --An Inwood, W.Va., woman charged with beating her six children with broom handles, metal coat hangers and other objects has resigned from her teaching job at Spring Mills Middle School.

Rebecca Jean Ferguson's resignation, which was made effective Friday, was part of personnel actions approved Monday night by the Berkeley County Board of Education.

Ferguson, 39, is charged with six felony counts of child abuse causing injury from January 2003 until this year, according to court records.

In Berkeley County Magistrate Court last week, Ferguson waived her right to a preliminary hearing. The state's evidence against Ferguson now is bound over to circuit court, where the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney's office can present it to a grand jury.

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Ferguson, who began teaching language arts to seventh-grade students this year at Spring Mills Middle School, previously taught at Musselman High School. She was employed by the school system for four years, according to school officials.

In a series of interviews, Ferguson's biological children, ranging in age from 3 to 19, gave examples of how they were struck numerous times by their mother, according to court records.

One of the children told a state investigator that his mother grabbed him by the back of the head and shoved his head into a table, according to court records.

One of his sisters told police that their mother abused her on a regular basis, and that the mistreatment "intensified" when she was ages 12 to 16. The girl said she was severely beaten, on average, three times per week during that time, according to court records.

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