West Fairmont Middle staff suspended for allegedly using 'inappropriate physical force' on special ed student

Sep. 19—FAIRMONT — The Marion County Board of Education indefinitely suspended a West Fairmont Middle School staff member for allegedly using "inappropriate physical force against a special education student," determined by a unanimous vote Monday evening.

The staff member, Teresa Sesito, graduated from Fairmont State University with a master's degree in special education in 2016, and a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology in 2011.

Marion County School Superintendent Donna Heston said she and members of the doard are not at liberty to discuss the incident at this time.

"It's a personnel situation and issue, so I cannot speak to that," she said.

In West Virginia, school officials who abuse students with disabilities can face felony charges and, if convicted, imprisonment.

The law was passed in 2022 after the abuse of special education students by educators at Horace Mann Middle School and Holz Elementary School came to light in highly publicized criminal trials.

For now, Heston noted that Marion County administrators have followed protocol by reporting Sesito's conduct to "the necessary agencies" outside of Marion County Schools for further investigation.

Reach Jack Walker by email at jwalker@timeswv.com.