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RH teacher resigns

Won’t face criminal charges for material on computers

PEDRO — A Rock Hill High School teacher will not face criminal charges for having pornography on his school computers. However, he will no longer be on the staff of the district.

A recent report from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation showed there was adult pornography on the computers, but not images of children in sexual situations, according to Lawrence County Sheriff’s Detective Aaron Bollinger.

“There are no criminal charges,” Bollinger said.

However the Rock Hill Board of Education accepted the man’s resignation at its Monday night meeting.

“The teacher made a decision to resign,” Superintendent Wes Hairston said. “He resigned effective May 15, but he will not be back to work. That closes out his contract.”

In March the teacher was placed on administrative leave as the district and the sheriff’s office conducted an investigation into allegations about the teacher and material on his school computers.

The investigation began after the district discovered that two male students had engaged in sexual activity on the campus during school hours in February, according to a report at that time by Bollinger.

It was during this investigation that allegations about the teacher’s conduct came up including leaving these students unsupervised and not reporting the incident.

Hairston asked the sheriff’s office to obtain the teacher’s computers, including a laptop, to have them analyzed by BCI&I.

“Basically it is to see if there were any illegal images that had been downloaded on that computer,” Sheriff Jeff Lawless said. “With legal pornography, there may be an issue as far as doing so at the place of work. But child pornography is definitely illegal. You can’t have nude photos of children or children engaged in sexual acts.”

Since no such images of children were found on the teacher’s computers, there will be no charges filed by the county prosecutor.

This is the first disciplinary issue involving the teacher, who came to the district in 1998, that Hairston is aware of. He also said students being left unsupervised was an isolated incident at the district.