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.
The Horry County Police Department arrested an elementary school teacher and a principal Wednesday morning.
Rebecca Schroyer, 47, who is the principal at Ocean Bay Elementary School, is accused of two counts of failing to report a child neglect allegation for an incident that happened during the 2021-22 school year.
The alleged incident, which happened in February, involved a teacher “putting hand sanitizer in a child’s open wound,” an arrest warrant states.
Schroyer, employed with the district since 2001, was placed on administrative leave on Tuesday pending the investigation. At the Wednesday bond hearing, Schroyer was given a $10,000 bond and released.
Grace McColgan, 60, a special education teacher at Ocean Bay Elementary, was charged with six counts of unlawful conduct towards a child, stemming from the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years, according to an arrest warrant.
According to a redacted witness statement, McColgan smacked three male students with an open hand on two separate occasions after the students would not get their heads off the table. These incidents happened in late September.
There were always three adults in the room with McColgan, according to the incident reports. She was placed on administrative leave October 11.
McColgan was given a $60,000 bond on Wednesday.
Mark Porter, executive director for elementary schools, will oversee Ocean Bay elementary school for the time being, according to Lisa Bourcier, the Horry County schools spokesperson.
A bond hearing for both McColgan and Schroyer is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday. No bail has been set.
Mother arrested after children found unresponsive in hot car parked at Walmart
#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters #HeatStrokeKills #LookBeforeYouLock
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Oklahoma City Police Department says a metro mother was arrested on 2 charges of child neglect Sunday afternoon after her children were found unconscious in the backseat of a hot car parked at a local Walmart.
According to the incident report, 39-year-old Elizabeta Babb was arrested at the Walmart Supercenter near I-240 and Santa Fe Ave. after her two 2-year-olds were rescued from a hot vehicle in the parking lot.
Police say Walmart security footage shows Babb entered the store with one of the children at 2:22 p.m. before walking back out with the child at 2:28 p.m., deposits the child back in the car and walks back into the store.
While Babb is inside the store, a witness outside crawled through the open sunroof to unlock the car and retrieve the unresponsive children.
According to the report, when roused, one child began crying while the other remained lethargic.
A Walmart security officer put the children into her security vehicle with the air conditioning running.
That security officer told officers the car was hot to the touch and even burned her while she attempted to retrieve the children.
Meanwhile, security officials inside the store were repeating the vehicle’s tag number over the intercom in efforts to have the vehicle owner walk out, but no one did.
At 2:57 p.m., Babb is seen leaving self-checkout and walking outside where her children were being examined by medics.
“When confronted, Babb stated she was only in the store about five minutes,” said the reporting officer.
DHS and OKCPD determined Babb should be arrested on scene during their investigation.
The children’s father and grandmother were contacted to take the children from the scene after their medical evaluation.
Aldine ISD teacher and aide charged for alleged abuse of 6-year-old boy with autism
ALDINE, TX – Two Aldine ISD educators have been charged after a first-grade student who has autism was allegedly physically injured in the classroom.
Britnee Vaughn, a teacher for kids with special needs, and teacher’s aide Maria Gonzalez-Valencia both face felony charges of injury to a child.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Aldine ISD said both educators are no longer employed by the district.
In an interview last week, the 6-year-old’s parents, Pablo Reyna and Angelica Frias, said they noticed their son would return from Raymond Elementary School with random scratches, bruises and bumps on his head.
“Whether he was OK or not,” Reyna said, “I thought he could have been playing or something. You never know, he bumped his head or something. I mean, he’s a kid, but like I said, it was never in our mind that the teacher was abusive towards him like that.”
Frias said what appeared to be minor injuries happened multiple times over the course of months, and both parents questioned their student’s teacher about it.
“It’s heartbreaking because he isn’t able to talk,” Frias said. “He has autism, and he doesn’t talk, and he was not able to let me know what was going on.”
She said finally their request made it to the Raymond Elementary School’s administration staff, and an investigation was initiated.
The school’s principal, Tannessa Maddox, reportedly obtained video from inside the classroom after the parents complained.
Court records detail multiple instances where students were allegedly physically abused while in their classroom.
The first incident the court documents covered happened on March 24.
Witnesses to the video state that Gonzalez-Valencia was seen striking the boy in the forehead with an unknown object after he touched an item on her desk.
After the boy was hit, the video reportedly shows the 6-year-old placing his hands on his head in the same area of the strike, indicating that it caused him to feel pain.
After allegedly striking the boy, the teacher’s aide can be heard telling the boy to move, court records claim.
On March 25, a video allegedly shows Vaughn walk over to the boy, who was spinning around on the floor, and kick him, causing him to slide across the floor.
In a separate incident on April 4, court records claim that Vaughn physically hurt another child, in addition to the 6-year-old who has autism.
Witnesses claim that the classroom video shows the boy and the other student playing on the floor.
Vaughn is then seen walking over to the boy and grabbing him by the back of his shirt in the neck area, pulling him up from the floor and onto his feet.
She then reportedly pushes him towards his desk, causing him to fall to the floor. Witnesses to the video said when the boy got up and sat at his desk, he started rubbing his neck with his hands.
After that, the video reportedly shows Vaughn walking over to the other student and grabbing him by the ear until he gets up from the ground.
The student allegedly yelled in reaction, causing Vaughn to let go. That’s when she reportedly told him not to scream again, or she would take his tablet.
When the student went to sit down at his desk, he was reportedly holding his ear in pain. In an interview on Tuesday, Pablo Jr.’s parents said the teachers being charged is a good first step, but they want full accountability.
“I think they should be not able to teach anymore. Their title should be taken away from them. If they didn’t have the patience for the kids, then why be a teacher?” said Frias. They said they would also like to see the district pay more attention.
“I hope that they keep an eye out and be more aware of what’s going on with the teachers, the students and just be able to catch things sooner,” said Frias.
Pablo Jr.’s parents said their son is not finishing the school year at Raymond Elementary as they did not feel comfortable with him going back there after what happened. He is currently enrolled at another Aldine ISD school.
Aldine ISD issued an updated statement about the investigation on Tuesday:
“Aldine ISD is aware of an incident at Raymond Elementary School in which a teacher and a paraprofessional made inappropriate physical contact with two special needs students. Once the school was made aware of this incident, CPS and Aldine ISD PD were immediately contacted and an investigation was initiated. The Aldine ISD PD turned their findings over to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and charges have been filed against both individuals. Both individuals are no longer employed by Aldine ISD.
This incident is deeply concerning and should not have occurred. The district trains teachers and paraprofessionals in nonviolent crisis intervention techniques at the beginning of each school year and will reinforce that training during the remainder of this year. Aldine ISD expects all employees to conduct themselves in a manner that demonstrates the proper regard for others and does not tolerate behavior that infringes on the safety and emotional well-being of any students or staff member. In addition, the district will use its resources to protect its students and staff.
Aldine ISD leaders will continue to work together to find solutions which provide a safe, healthy and nurturing learning environment in our schools in order to support academic achievement, respectful interactions and engagement.”
The state was supposed to rehabilitate them. Instead, hundreds of children were allegedly abused in N.H.
Updated April 22, 2022
MANCHESTER, NH – Jeffrey Buskey, accused by Meehan of repeatedly assaulting him, faces 25 counts of aggravated sexual assault. Stephen Murphy was working as a clubhouse attendant for the Boston Red Sox in 2019 when he was charged with 26 counts of assault; though prosecutors later dismissed those charges and brought a new indictment charging Murphy with 15 counts of aggravated sexual assault. He is currently suspended from the organization pending the outcome of his case, a Red Sox spokeswoman said.
Attorneys for nine of those charged either declined comment or didn’t return messages left by the Globe. Those representing Murphy and James Woodlock issued statements maintaining their clients’ innocence. All 11 have pleaded not guilty.
In a statement, New Hampshire’s Department of Justice touted the breadth of its ongoing investigation, citing a growing team of prosecutors and investigators devoted solely to examining abuses at the detention center.
“At this point we expect that the investigation and prosecution of these crimes will continue for years,” said Attorney General John Formella. “While so many have come forward, the reality is that we do not yet know the full extent of those who may have suffered as residents at YDC, and we may not know for some time.”
Today, though, former residents insist it’s impossible that facility administrators were unaware of the abuse. Some say they reported it to supervisors during their time at the facility only to be brushed off. When Meehan eventually went to police in February 2017, he says, the state trooper who arrived to speak with him was a former gym teacher at the detention center.
“One of the first things she said was she’d been waiting for us to come forward,” Meehan told the Globe.
Among those currently facing charges, meanwhile, is Bradley Asbury, who in 1994 was one of three supervisors fired from the Youth Detention Services Unit in Concord, where juveniles were held as their cases were being adjudicated. In terminating Asbury, the state concluded that he’d demonstrated a “willful misuse” of his supervisory position, according to a defamation lawsuit Asbury later filed.
The following year, however, Asbury successfully appealed his firing and was reinstated, going on to become a union leader and staunch defender of staff accused of abusing residents.
“We don’t have time to abuse them,” he once told the Associated Press.
Just a few years after he was rehired by the state, prosecutors now allege, Asbury held a resident down while another counselor sodomized him.
The settlement plan currently being considered by New Hampshire lawmakers — which would cap payment at $1.5 million for sexual abuse victims and $150,000 for victims of physical assault — has also been a source of contention. A pair of New Hampshire attorneys representing hundreds of the alleged victims — Rus Rilee and Dave Vicinanzo — say that without some changes, they will advise their clients against signing on.
“The state’s inability to unequivocally apologize for what they did to these kids and do everything they can to make them whole without retraumatizing them is inexcusable,” said Rilee, who along with wife and law partner, Laurie Rilee, has been working on the case since 2018. “[It’s] unbecoming of the state.”
But money, say the alleged victims of YDC, has never been the point.
Stephen Hayward will be dead, he believes, before he ever sees a dime from the state. He wants only for the world to know what happened.
Robert Boudreau, for his part, says there’s no amount that could ever make up for what’s been taken from him; in his mind, justice would be served if he could watch the men who abused him stand before a judge and admit to the things he says they did.
And then there is Cody Belanger.
After emerging from the facility more than a decade ago, Belanger went to college, started a business, got married. But he never forgot the sexual assault he endured during his brief time at YDC, an incident that left him sobbing on the floor of a facility bathroom.
In 2020, at the age of 25, Belanger was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Last year, after the passage of a state budget calling for the Sununu Center to shut its doors by next March, he was appointed to a committee tasked with devising a plan for closing the facility and determining how — or whether — to replace it.
Not long after, meanwhile, Belanger crossed paths with the governor at the State House in Concord. A relatively new legislator, Belanger didn’t know Sununu well. Still, he felt comfortable enough to levy a request.
When the facility finally comes down, he said, I want to be holding a sledgehammer.