Former SC elementary school teacher accused of dragging student down hallway by hair

Former SC elementary school teacher accused of dragging student down hallway by hair
(Florence County Sheriff's Office)

FLORENCE, S.C. — A former South Carolina elementary school teacher was given a public reprimand after being accused of dragging a student down a hallway by their hair, according to our news partner WPDE.

According to a reprimand from the South Carolina State Board of Education, there were two incidents where Suzanne Atkinson grabbed the first-grade student by the hair and walked the student down the hallway.

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The incidents were confirmed by surveillance footage in the hallway and showed that the student appeared to be crying.

Atkinson was charged with two counts of child cruelty in May 2018. Officials said she was placed on administrative leave during the initial investigation and later resigned from the district.

Atkinson was released on a $1,000 bond -- $500 for each charge.

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The South Carolina State Board of Education decided not to suspect or revoke Atkinson’s educator certificate, saying that the evidence “does not support a conclusion” for “just cause.” Instead, officials said they were moving forward with possible legal action.

After waiving her right to a hearing and agreeing to a public reprimand, the board classified Atkinson’s behavior as “unprofessional conduct.”

Atkinson still has a valid South Carolina professional educator certificate, according to the state board. Officials said she has more than 26 years of teaching experience and does not have a record of disciplinary action.