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R.I. teacher quits amid allegations

Educator accused of 'inappropriate behavior' with teen

WEST WARWICK, R.I. -- A West Warwick High School teacher has stepped down amid allegations of misconduct.

The West Warwick School Department received Kathleen Ferreira's letter of resignation Thursday, according to The Kent County Times.

School officials did not identify the teacher; she was interviewed and identified in a local news broadcast. Ferreira spoke to a local news station Wednesday and said she was unhappy with her job and would resign.

Superintendent David Raiche said the teacher was placed on paid leave Monday after she was accused of engaging in "inappropriate behavior" with a 16-year-old student.

The superintendent told The Kent County Times that the allegation was made by one student. He did not comment as to what the allegation was, but "given the nature of the allegation," he placed the staff member on administrative leave as the matter was being investigated.

One School Committee member told The Providence Journal that the teacher is in her 20s and new to the district.

Thomas Iannitti Jr. said the investigation stems from a note allegedly written by the teacher to the student. He said the note did not suggest a sexual relationship, but was "over the line."

But the School Committee chairman, Daniel Burns Jr., said the teacher was accused of "sexual misconduct" with more than one male student.

Superintendent Raiche declined to confirm that. He said the administrators were sifting through various "rumors."

"We step in as soon as we have any kind of rumor or an indication that something inappropriate is going on between staff and a student," Burns said.

"This might be a false alarm," he said, adding that the allegation is serious enough to warrant close scrutiny.

Police Chief Peter Brousseau said his department was informed of the allegation Monday. A school resource officer took the initial report, and the case was referred to the detective division.

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