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School Safety.

Title: Ensuring School Safety: South Carolina Substitute Teacher Dismissed for Threatening Students

Author: Chairman Bob Sutton an experienced education blogger, an advocate for safe learning environments, and a teacher in one of the nation's largest school districts.

Date: April 16, 2023


A recent unsettling incident at White Knoll Elementary School in West Columbia, South Carolina, has raised concerns about the safety of our children in schools. A substitute teacher allegedly threatened to kill fifth-grade students in her class by grabbing them by the neck. The unidentified teacher has since been terminated from her position at Lexington School District One and banned from all district properties. This incident underscores the need for vigilance in ensuring the safety of students and staff in schools even in this age of teacher shortages.

Incident Details:

The students in the class reported the substitute teacher's comments to faculty members, prompting an immediate investigation. While the school district spokesperson confirmed the teacher's dismissal and ban to Newsweek, further details about the incident were withheld. The teacher had been employed by the district since December of the previous year.

The school principal revealed that the substitute became irate due to the class misbehaving, leading to the threatening statement. Following the incident, the teacher reportedly gathered her belongings and left the campus before deputies arrived.

Response and Support:

In an email to parents, the school district stated that administrators and school counselors met with the affected students to help calm them down and reassure them of their safety. Parents of students in the class received personal phone calls shortly after the incident. Law enforcement, along with members of the district's safety and security team, were contacted and came to the school.

One grandparent, Terry Nine, shared with a local news station that her grandson reported the substitute teacher had cursed at students and made racially insensitive comments. As a result, her grandson was too upset to attend school the following day.

The Importance of School Safety:

As an experienced education blogger, I cannot emphasize enough the critical need for maintaining safe learning environments for students, staff, and teachers. This incident is a stark reminder of the importance of thorough background checks and training for all individuals working with children. Schools must foster an atmosphere where students, staff, and teachers feel secure in reporting concerns to faculty and staff.


The ongoing investigation into this incident should serve as a reminder to schools across the nation to prioritize student safety. A robust system of background checks, training, and open communication channels between students, faculty, and parents is vital in ensuring that our children are protected and nurtured within their learning environments.

We also need to preserve Individual privacy while seeking the knowledge of medications an individual may be on, the side effects known and unknown of the prescription, and train staff how to look for signs of an individual struggling to keep it together.

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