Former elementary school teacher in Florence issued a public reprimand

Pee Dee Crime

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A former teacher at Carver Elementary School has been given a public reprimand by the state board after being charged with two counts of child cruelty.

Suzanne Brown Atkinson, 63, of Florence, who has more than 26 years of education experience, was accused of reportedly dragging a child down the hallway by the hair on two different occasions in May of 2018.

The misdemeanor charges were dismissed, but Atkinson agreed to a consent order of public reprimand. She also resigned from Florence School District One in 2018.

Sizanne Atkinson

On Wednesday, the South Carolina Board of Education released the public reprimand. It states the following:

  • She walked the first-grade student down the School hallway while continuing to hold them by their hair. This was confirmed by surveillance cameras.
  • The district viewed more surveillance video showing a second similar incident with the same child. At the end of the second incident, the student appeared to be crying.

The reprimand will be reported to all South Carolina school districts, the NASDTEC Clearinghouse, posted on the South Carolina Department of Education’s website, and will be kept in the state department’s Office of General Council.

The board concluded the evidence presented by the district did not support a need to suspend or revoke the Atkinson’s certificate. The board did conclude that inappropriate physical contact with a student was just cause for the public reprimand.

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