WENTWORTH, N.C. — A former Rockingham County Middle School teacher pleaded guilty Tuesday on charges related to inappropriate student/teacher conduct.
Rebekah Gammon Wright, 27, entered into a plea agreement with the Rockingham County District Attorney on charges of indecent liberties with a minor and sexual activity by a teacher, according to the State Bureau of Investigation. She was sentenced this afternoon to a prison term of 26 to 50 months.
Wright had a relationship with a 13-year-old, according to the SBI.
“There's no indication this was happening with other any other students,” said Alex Peter, assistant special agent in charge at the SBI’s Greensboro office. “This was the only victim we developed in this investigation.”
When asked how long the relationship lasted Peter declined to comment saying that information could help identify the suspect.
According to Rockingham County Schools, Wright was employed with the school system since August 2011 and taught seventh grade math at Rockingham County Middle School.
Allegations of inappropriate student/teacher conduct were brought to the attention of the school system in mid-November 2014.
The school system human resources department launched an internal investigation and Wright was suspended with pay, the school system said. Law enforcement was notified.
Wright resigned on Dec. 5, 2014. She was charged after her resignation date, the school system said.
The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office began the investigation into Wright and then turned it over to the SBI.
The SBI said the nine-month investigation was necessary.
“These investigations sometimes take a long time depending on how cooperative some parties are being and looking at other evidence,” said Peter.
Some parents knew of the investigation and said they’re glad the teacher was removed from her position at the school quickly.
Others just learning of the crimes said two to four years in prison seemed like a light punishment.
“She deserves 20 years instead because that is nasty,” said Willene Hearn, whose daughters once attended Rockingham County Middle school.
The school system released the following statement:
“In November, allegations of inappropriate student/teacher conduct were brought to the attention of administration regarding Rebekah Wright and a student. RCS immediately launched an investigation, interviewed the teacher, suspended her with pay pending the investigation and called law enforcement.
On December 5, 2014 the teacher resigned all duties with our district.
Our main focus is always student safety and we will continue our efforts to provide a safe learning environment throughout all Rockingham County Schools.”