Teacher Resigns Amid Allegations of Sexual Misconduct - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/13/04

Teacher Resigns Amid Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

Just days after the sheriff's office began an investigation for sexual misconduct, a Spanish teacher at Hilton Head High school has resigned. She submitted her resignation early this week stating she wanted to spend more time with her family. There have been no charges files in this matter so far, but it is about the only thing people are talking about on campus.

Rebecca Schafer--or Rebecca Robertson as she's known in school--had been suspended for most of this week while the school district looked into some of her student recordkeeping. "We have identified cases where we believe some records were altered and we're taking appropriate steps to address that at the school level," said the school district's John Williams. "We have no reason to believe that any other teachers were involved nor any other students."

School officials say that even if she had not resigned on her own, there's a good likelihood she would have been fired following the internal investigation into her recordkeeping.

During that investigation, school officials found some information that they passed on to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. That office's subsequent sexual misconduct investigation is ongoing, to find out if Schafer had sex with a 15-year-old student. Instantly, rumors spread through the school, making it tough for anyone to stay focused.

"We're concerned anytime any issue takes the spotlight away from learning in the classroom," said Williams. "And that's one of the reasons that the school is focusing very heavy this week and next week to make sure that students are at task, that staff understand what's going on this school year, that there's still 60 some days left."

This had been Schafer's first year at Hilton Head High School. We spoke with many parents who weren't comfortable going on camera for interviews, but did say they were glad to see that she had resigned.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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