CHARLESTON — A Kanawha County grand jury has indicted a former Holz Elementary School teacher for allegedly harming three special education children, including striking one with a file cabinet door, jerking her by her hair and throwing her to the floor.
Nancy Boggs, 66, of Charleston, is accused in the indictments of twice “driving” another student’s head down, “causing his forehead to strike his desk.” And she’s accused of slapping two of the children in the face and jerking the chairs out from under two, causing them to fall to the floor.
She faces 23 counts of misdemeanor battery and a single count of verbal abuse of a noncommunicative child.
For each misdemeanor battery charge, the possible penalty is imprisonment for up to a year, a fine of up to $500, or both fined and confined. The single verbal abuse charge threatens a $500 to $2,500 fine, being jailed up to six months, or both.
This is the same Boggs who was sued last week by the parents of Trenton Bowden, a 9-year-old with cognitive delays and physical limitations.
“Defendant Boggs slapped T.B. in the chest for not answering questions correctly,” the lawsuit alleges. “When T.B. continued to answer the questions incorrectly, Defendant Boggs grabbed T.B. by the neck, turned his head towards hers and slapped T.B. in the face. T.B. cried out, ‘I want my daddy,’ to which Defendant Boggs replied, ‘Your daddy’s not coming. He’s not going to help you.’”
The criminal indictments, which were publicly released Thursday, identify the three allegedly abused children by initials, not names. T.B. is among the initials.
HD Media was unable to reach Boggs’ attorney Thursday. Kanawha Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Sam Marsh said Boggs pleaded not guilty and has a trial date set for April 7.
The indictments are the latest in a string of criminal cases and lawsuits since May, alleging that Kanawha school system employees physically and verbally abused special education children, including nonverbal ones.
The central evidence in each lawsuit and criminal case has been video footage of the alleged abuse. These recordings, which haven’t been publicly released, were made possible by a 2019 state law mandating cameras in certain special education classrooms.
County school systems are supposed to preserve video footage for 90 days at a time, allowing them and law enforcement to review back that far after an alleged incident. The lawsuit alleges abuse only on Sept. 22, and the indictments allege it occurred Sept. 8 and Sept. 22.
Marsh said prosecutors wanted to ensure “nothing was missed.” He said Charleston police did the bulk of the video review, alongside a school system employee.
“It was a rather tedious process in reviewing a lot of video,” Marsh said.
Still, he said he believes not all of the days have been reviewed yet, but this was the last grand jury for this term and officials felt it was appropriate to share what they had.
The four other allegedly abused children were in a Horace Mann Middle School classroom, and their alleged abusers, a few adults in the same classroom, have been sued and criminally charged.
These new indictments and the new lawsuit allege abuse by a single teacher at Holz, a South Hills school.
“Kanawha County Schools discovered the issue at Holz Elementary with this former staff person after a student made a report to school personnel,” Kanawha schools spokeswoman Briana Warner wrote in an email Thursday.
“At that initial discovery, we made the appropriate notifications to parents, law enforcement and child protective services,” she wrote. “We have been working with law enforcement and child protective services since to provide all of the evidence that we have and support their investigation in any way possible. This individual is no longer a KCS employee and we will not comment on their ongoing criminal investigation or charges.”