A preliminary hearing is scheduled Friday on child abuse charges facing a South Carolina elementary school teacher and principal.
Horry County police arrested Ocean Bay Elementary School principal Rebecca Schroyer and teacher Grace McColgan in November.
McColgan, 60, is charged with six counts of unlawful conduct toward a child in the 2021-2022 school year. The special education teacher is accused of rubbing hand sanitizer in a child’s open wound, dumping a child out of a chair, smacking three students in the back of their heads and leaving children unattended for hours, according to arrest warrants.
Schroyer, 47, is charged with two counts of failing to report child abuse or neglect after learning of McColgan’s acts, authorities said.
The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports at least one parent has also filed a lawsuit in the case. A father identified in court papers only as John Doe sued the school and district on Thursday. Filed on behalf of his nonverbal daughter, the suit states an outside investigator told the father on Oct. 20 that McColgan was recorded on video around Feb. 1 punching his daughter. The suit alleges that Schroyer failed to take action and allowed the student to remain in a class taught by McColgan.
Tiffany Bufkin, a lawyer for the father, said Thursday that in addition to money damages, the father wants a full accounting of the problems, noting that nonverbal students can’t tell their parents what happened.
The Horry County School District does not comment on pending litigation, spokesperson Lisa Bourcier told the newspaper.
The South Carolina Attorney General’s office has taken over prosecuting the teacher and principal. Lawyers representing children that McColgan is accused of hurting asked 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson to step aside because of potential conflicts of interest. Richardson confirmed last week that he asked Attorney General Alan Wilson to take over the case in November after getting the request.
Schroyer and McColgan are still being paid by the school district. McColgan’s teaching license has been temporarily suspended.