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School Officials Reproach Whistle-Blower

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Moore also allegedly ate children's snacks, according to two former co-workers, and addressed her students with terms such as "retard" and "stupid." Her actions had been reported to the principal before, witnesses say, but aside from a few reprimands, nothing was done.

Moore will have no comment on the charges until her court date, according to her attorney.

Shortly after Style reported on Feb. 28 that Moore was under investigation by county police and Child Protective Services, other teachers at Ratcliffe Elementary, where Moore had been working until December, were questioned to find out who had talked to the press, the reprimanded teacher says. Ratcliffe's principal, Angelo Cuffee, further told school employees that they were strictly prohibited from talking to the media, says the teacher, who has asked to remain unidentified by Style.

On March 19, the teacher says, Lyle Evans, assistant superintendent of Henrico Schools, paid her a visit. He said he was questioning people only in regard to the ongoing investigation of Moore, the teacher says, and told her she didn't need legal counsel and had done nothing wrong. The teacher was suspicious, however, and declined to answer Evans' questions without an attorney present.

A few days later, she received a certified letter from Evans, stating that she had violated school policy in talking with the press. It ended with these words, she says: "Any further failure to adhere to these requirements could lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination." She further found that an official letter of reprimand had been placed in her file.

The teacher says she's outraged at the administration's apparent desire to keep Moore's actions and the investigation quiet. "It'd be different if we were talking about iBooks, or underfunding …" she says, "but we're talking about the safety of children."

Three families of children who were in Moore's classes say they intend to file lawsuits against Henrico County Schools. Principal Cuffee remains in office, but has said he plans to retire at the end of the year. — Melissa Scott

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