Unlawful neglect of a child is a felony charge in South Carolina. It can be punished by up to 10 years in prison.
Updated November 06, 2022
An Horry County elementary school principal was arrested this week after police determined she failed to properly report suspected child abuse as part of a law designed to catch potential abuses as early as possible.
Rebecca Schroyer, principal of Ocean Bay Elementary, is facing two counts of failing to report child abuse of neglect, as defined by South Carolina’s mandated reporter law. The misdemeanor charges each carry a penalty of up to six months in prison and/or a $500 fine. She was placed on administrative leave Tuesday.
Schroyer’s arrest came in conjunction with charges against special education teacher Grace McColgan, who was accused of unlawful conduct toward children related to multiple occasions during the current and past school year.
Attorney Morgan Martin, who is representing Schroyer, described the charges against his client as an “overreach” by law enforcement because he believes the principal was “vigilant” in her actions, and didn’t violate the law. He didn’t say what actions Schroyer took, and the warrants for her arrest don’t offer many details either.
Each failure to report charge stems from alleged incidents of abuse in February, when McColgan placed hand sanitizer in a child’s open wound and hit a child back after the child hit her, the warrants state. The reports do not detail how police determined Schroyer knew about these abuses or whether she did anything with that information.