Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office is looking into an allegation of possible abuse of a student by a teacher at the Summerville Montessori School located on Mayrant Road in Knightsville.
According to a DCSO incident report, a teacher's assistant reported that she has witnessed a teacher at the school commit several questionable acts including locking two upset students in a dark bathroom and making them sit on the floor. The assistant also reported seeing the teacher force a child to eat. She further stated that she saw the teacher on at least two occasions place duct tape over another child's mouth and tell the child to “shut up.”
The assistant said she reported the incident to the school director but nothing has happened, according to the report.
Officers did check with DSS to see if there have been any other allegations against the teacher; DSS stated there have been no such reports against that teacher, according to the report.
According to the report, an officer also spoke to the mother of a student who is in that teacher's class, who told the officer she witnessed her child take a piece of packing tape and place it over a younger siblings mouth and angrily exclaim, “Now you be quiet.”
The parent also stated that the child had told her that her teacher had hit the child, according to the report.
“The school is cooperating with all personnel who are investigating this manner and have been from the start,” Summerville Montessori School Director Elizabeth Cain said in a written statement last Wednesday. “We are sad that our families are experiencing this and seek to understand all the facts involved.”
Cain also stated that the teacher involved was suspended without pay immediately.
She added that DCSO investigators have asked the school not to comment anymore at this time as it could jeopardize the investigation and apologized for not providing more information at this time.
“Please know the safety and well being of the children is our top priority at all times,” she stated.
The investigation continues.