SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. (WDVM) — A Jefferson County teacher is facing charges after the school system received a report about a student who was in an “inappropriate relationship” with the staff member.
A statement from the school system said that a student had submitted the report regarding the relationship between another student and Willie Belmonte, a health teacher at Jefferson High School. According to school system officials, evidence found in the initial investigation was enough to begin moving forward with charges.
Officials said that Belmonte had been working with JCS for a couple of years. They currently have a long-term sub as a replacement.
“We certainly understand [any unease from parents]… This is a violation of a sacred trust, [but] this is a perfect example of how the system is supposed to work. … These students stepped up, we heard them, we acted on that. … The actions of one person do not define our school system and our community; we don’t want one person doing wrong to reflect negatively. … There are 100+ folks at JHS who have the students’ best interest at heart,” Hans Fogle, public information officer for JCS, said.
The statement said that law enforcement was immediately notified and that police are continuing to investigate this case.
Officials said that they immediately removed the employee’s access to the school system’s buildings and online programs. They said that a “no trespass order was issued for all Jefferson County Schools properties and the order (was) shared with local law enforcement.” The Department of Health and Human Resources was also notified of the case.
“We know that such news can be concerning for parents. We want to assure you that Jefferson County Schools takes every available screening and monitoring precaution to ensure the safety of our students,” the statement said.