CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two former Kanawha County Schools employees face charges after failing to report abuse against students with disabilities.
Lori Gibson and Lisa Perdue worked at Holz Elementary School as aides under Nancy Boggs, who was sentenced earlier this month to 10 years in jail for misdemeanor battery against three students. Boggs was found guilty of physically and verbally abusing non-communicative students.
As first reported by WCHS-TV, Gibson faces seven counts of failure to report and Perdue faces six similar counts.
Craig Bowden — whose son Trenton was abused in Boggs’ classroom — has been outspoken about addressing inappropriate behavior by educators. He and his wife Beth successfully pushed for legislation to make abusing a child with a disability or neglect to report abuse a felony.
“It was unimaginable that somebody could turn their backs when this abuse was going on, but we know that they did that,” he told MetroNews on Monday. “They kind of led us to believe that when the teacher was suspended, that they didn’t know anything about it. Like it was a one-time thing and it just happened that day.”
Bowden said video evidence showed Gibson and Perdue were aware of the abuse when it happened.
“They obviously knew that the abuse was going on,” he said. “There was abuse going on weeks before that that we’ve seen, and they said nothing.”
Kanawha County Schools has fired the women.
Perdue’s trial date has been set for Dec. 5. She was released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. Gibson has yet to be arraigned because her attorney could not attend the related hearing.