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District covers up sex scandal:Colleton teacher accused of sexual relationship with student; The teacher was allowed to resign, CCSO never notified of allegations

A teacher with the Colleton County School District has resigned from her position after she is accused of having a sexual affair with one of her students.

The teacher – Anita Gethers – resigned from her teaching position last month after an incident report was filed with the Summerville Police Department. The Colleton County School Board then voted to accept her resignation at their meeting on Feb. 18th.

The ordeal, however, is clouded in questions.

Authorities with the Summerville Police Department were notified of the alleged crime on Jan. 29, when the grandfather of the alleged victim – an underage female – reported that he came home and found Gethers locked in a room with his granddaughter. This incident occurred Dec. 23. The grandfather claims to have notified the school as soon as he discovered his granddaughter with her teacher; however, the school did not respond to his claims.

According to Capt. Jon Rogers with the Summerville Police Department, the police department notified the school’s Resource Officer and the principal. The incident report also states this. However, an SRO with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office was never notified of the alleged incident, according to Sgt. Amye Stivender, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office. “An SRO with our office was never told of this incident,” she said, Tuesday afternoon. Stivender confirms that the school district never notified the sheriff’s office of any allegations against a teacher: furthermore, Stivender says their office learned of the allegations only when questioned by The Colletonian Newspaper on the matter in February.

The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this claim, and are consulting with SLED on the matter, said Stivender.

According to the Summerville incident report, the grandfather says he contacted the school and notified them of what had occurred inside his home. No action was taken by the school, he said. The grandfather then went to Summerville police and filed the report on Jan. 29th. According to that report, the man “figured the school was going to handle the situation, but has heard nothing,” as of Jan. 29th. This created more than a one-month lapse in time between the district being made aware of the allegations, and the grandfather filing a report with authorities. The board did not address the situation until its Feb. 18th meeting.

School board member Paul Haase says he was not aware of any allegations circling Gethers when he voted in favor of accepting her resignation. Haase did confirm that he was aware of rumors concerning a teacher and her misconduct, but adds that the district did not notify him of any sexual misconduct allegations.

Dr. Franklin Foster, director of Human Resources with the school district, said Tuesday afternoon that he could not confirm or deny whether or not the district was aware of the allegations against Gethers when she was allowed to resign from her post. “That is a personnel matter,” Foster said. According to him, the district’s policy is to notify law enforcement and state officials whenever allegations of this nature are brought forth against a teacher or member of the school district. The Summerville Police reports do not say that they were contacted by the district, and neither was the sheriff’s office.

The Colletonian is investigating and will have more information in following issues.

Heather Walters (127 Posts)