Warrants: HCS teacher hit students, rubbed hand sanitizer in wound; principal failed to report

Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 9:39 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2022 at 6:40 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Two Horry County Schools educators are out on bond after warrants claim a teacher abused several students, and the principal failed to report the allegations.

Horry County police arrested Ocean Bay Elementary principal Rebecca Schroyer and special education teacher Grace McColgan.

McColgan is charged with six counts of unlawful conduct toward a child stemming from the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years, while Schroyer faces two counts of failing to report child abuse or neglect.

Left to right: special education teacher  at Ocean Bay Elementary School Grace McColgan;...
Left to right: special education teacher at Ocean Bay Elementary School Grace McColgan; Rebecca Schroyer, the principal at Ocean Bay Elementary School(J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

According to a redacted incident report released to WMBF News by Horry County police, an unnamed witness reported observing McColgan putting six children under her care in harm’s way.

The statement alleges McColgan hit three male students in the head after telling them to “get their heads off the table.”

“I heard the smacks that Grace implemented on the children from the table where I was standing, which was about 6 feet away,” the statement reads.

The witness said McColgan “smacked” the back of their heads two different times that day.

The witness reported there were always three adults present and they were never alone with McColgan in the classroom.

Additional incidents reported include witnessing McColgan rub hand sanitizer in a child’s open wound; dumping a child out of a chair causing them to fall to the floor; and leaving a child in the bathroom with the light off for an unreasonable amount of time because the child didn’t request for the light to be turned on.

HCS says McColgan was placed on administrative leave on October 11. She has been employed with Horry County Schools since August 2020.

Schroyer is charged with failing to report a child neglect allegation to the appropriate entity as a mandatory reporter from the 2021-2022 school year incident.

Schroyer was placed on administrative leave on Tuesday pending the outcome of the investigation. She has been employed with Horry County Schools since 2001 and has been the principal at Ocean Bay Elementary School since 2016.

Horry County Schools released the following statement to WMBF News:

“At this time, we cannot discuss further the details of this matter out of respect for due process, student privacy rights, employee privacy rights, and law enforcement’s ongoing investigation. Horry County Schools will continue to cooperate with the Horry County Police Department during their investigation. Mark Porter, Executive Director for Elementary Schools, will be providing oversight for Ocean Bay Elementary School. Mr. Porter is an experienced school leader who has served for over fifteen years as a former principal and eight years as a district administrator with Horry County Schools.”

The two appeared for their bond hearings on Wednesday afternoon where several parents and victims’ advocates spoke out against McColgan. They said that none of the children can speak and they were there to be their voice. One mother said that she witnessed bruises on her child and was appalled by what had happened.

The judge set a $60,000 surety bond for McColgan. As a condition of her bond, she’s not allowed to have any contact with the victims or their families and is not allowed to hold a position where she would take care of children.

As for Schroyer, the judge gave her a $10,000 personal recognizance bond. As a condition of her bond, she’s not allowed to have contact with the victim or their families. Online records show she was released at 4:53 p.m. Wednesday.

Morgan Martin, attorney for Schroyer said, more information needs to come out before any more accusations are made.

“I think a thorough review of what happened here is going to indicate that she did her job and didn’t do anything wrong,” said Martin.

McColgan was released on bond around an hour later.

WMBF News reached out to McColgan’s attorney for a statement on the case. He declined to comment.

This is a developing story. Stay with WMBF News for updates.