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Rebecca Morgan (Courtesy: Facebook)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An Ashley High School teaching assistant fired this week is under criminal investigation.

New Hanover County Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jerry Brewer says deputies are investigating Rebecca Ann Morgan, 25, for allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior with an underage person. He said the alleged victim is a 17-year-old female, but would not say if she is a student at Ashley. No charges have been filed, but the investigation, which began April 23, continues, Brewer says.

New Hanover County Schools spokeswoman Valita Quattlebaum says Morgan was terminated Wednesday after previously having been suspended with pay.

“We are not authorized to say the reason for the termination,” Quattlebaum wrote in an e-mail to reporters.

According to the school district, Morgan was an Exceptional Children TA first hired in August 2013 at Winter Park Elementary, where she worked until last summer before moving to Ashley. The district suspended Morgan with pay April 24. That changed to a suspension without pay Wednesday. She was fired later that day.

Under state law, the type of suspension and the written dismissal “setting forth the specific acts or omissions that are the basis of the dismissal” are public record. WWAY and other media outlets requested that information this morning.

“According to an interpretation by the NC Attorney General’s Office, a ‘final decision’ has not occurred if the employee has the right to appeal,” Quattlebaum wrote in an e-mail in response to the request for records. “This employee has the right to appeal her termination to the New Hanover County Board of Education under (NC General Statute) 115C-45. If the employee has not requested an appeal to the Board within 30 days, we will consider the termination to be final and at that time will release the termination letter. ”

When reached for comment, attorney James “Buddy” Allard told WWAY due to the investigation he could not provide a comment on behalf of Morgan.

Comment on this Story

  • nhcswatchdogs@gmail.com

    Teacher is fired for sexual misconduct, but the Superintendent is not? It was widely reported in the press that Superintendent Tim Markley had an affair with a subordinate, who was also married, but he keeps his job. How can that be when the law requires that he be fired? What we are learning with our New Hanover County Schools system is what you can get away with is directly related to who your friends are.

    North Carolina General Statute 115C-274 is on the removal of superintendents and addresses the issue very specifically. It states “Local boards of education are authorized to remove a superintendent who is guilty of immoral or disreputable conduct…” and goes on to say “It shall then be the duty of that board of education to hear the evidence in the case and, if after careful investigation it shall find the charges true, it shall declare the office vacant….”

    The word “Shall” when used in laws is used to express what is mandatory. The law is very clear and states the board of education “shall declare the office vacant” for immoral or disreputable conduct. For the New Hanover County Board of Education, removing Markley from office is not an option according to the law, it is mandatory, but we see that has not happened yet.

    Apparently laws and school policies are applied very selectively, or not at all in many cases, when it comes to the the hierarchy of our school school system.

    • _kcxp_

      There’s a difference when it comes to two adults. Yes the behavior between the Superintendent and subordinate was inappropriate, but this is a student and a teacher. It’s beyond inappropriate and it was in the best interest of the school to fire the TA.

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  • “Fired Ashley TA under criminal investigation for inappropriate sexual behavior with minor”
    ….. so is there appropriate sexual behavior with a minor?

    All the young Girls love Alice – Elton John

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