PRINCETON, W.Va. — The Mercer County Board of Education was officially briefed on a lawsuit filed last week alleging abuse and mistreatment of children in the school system.

Deborah Akers

The school board met in executive session Tuesday evening, then emerged with Superintendent Deborah Akers offering a statement in response to the suit.

“We take allegations of child abuse seriously and have policies in place to turn these allegations immediately over to the proper authorities of investigation,” Akers said. “Regarding the complaint involving Cumberland Heights Early Learning Center, the Mercer County BOE and I deny all of the allegations in these cases and look forward to the true revelation of these facts.”

Charleston Attorney J.B. Akers filed three separate lawsuits on behalf of two students, one parent, and a teachers aide at Cumberland Heights Early Learning Center in Mercer County. The suits name Superintendent Akers, the school’s principal, the Mercer County School Board and teacher Alma Belcher.

Akers confirmed to reporters following the meeting Belcher no longer works at Cumberland Heights.

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