UPDATE: Schofield Middle School teacher will not face charges

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

AIKEN, S.C. -- Lt. David Turno with Aiken Public Safety says a teacher accused of reading "pornographic" material to his middle school classroom will not face charges.

12 On Your Side first told you about the allegations a week ago.

School officials confirmed they put the Schofield Middle School teacher on administrative leave during the investigation.

According to the incident report, a teacher had been reading pornographic material from the Internet to the students in class. One of the stories was about prostitutes having their faces covered with ejaculation.

School officials later told News 12 that the teacher had been reading from one of three books to the classroom.

Statement from the Aiken County School District:
"The Aiken County Public School District releases the following information in connection with recent inquiries about allegations of inappropriate materials being utilized regarding the district's literacy initiative by a teacher at Schofield Middle School.

This incident involved a student's complaint concerning materials characterized by the student and his parent as pornographic. The complaint was communicated to the school last Friday and followed by a conference with the school administration Friday afternoon. The administration gathered a written statement by the student (normal procedures) and initiated an immediate investigation, indicating to the parent after reviewing the student's statement that the investigation would continue.

The administration, concerned with the report that the books in question being utilized by the teacher had curse words and terms that might not be age appropriate, continued the investigation on Monday the 12th. Early that morning, during the ongoing review of these books and the gathering of more information about class occurrences, the administration was notified by law enforcement that the parent had filed a complaint with them as well.

Pending the investigation of this matter and the exchange of factual information with public safety, the matter has continued to be investigated and parent concerns dealt with. Two of three books that had been selected and utilized by the teacher were determined to have materials (primarily swear words) and, in some instances, subject matter terminology that the school administration considers inappropriate for the middle school age. At least one staff member is presently on administrative leave while this matter is being reviewed and the investigation completed.

The district and law enforcement work on a cooperative basis, and Aiken Public Safety will determine if any of the events in question violate the law. The administrative investigation will include a determination as to the timely following of reporting protocol, based upon all factual circumstances surrounding the nature of the complaint. Matters that involve personnel considerations are dealt with promptly but must take into account reasonable measures to protect the privacy of students and staff."

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