Rumors of illicit affair among staff at Colleton County school prompt $67k payout
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Colleton County School District, through the Insurance Reserve Fund, paid out $67,500 after rumors of an adulterous illicit affair between two employees allegedly damaged the reputation of one so badly, she lost her job and moved away from the area.
In a 2017 libel and slander lawsuit, a former Forest Hill Elementary School employee claimed that she was embarrassed, humiliated and endured physical suffering due to the actions of the district and its staff.
The lawsuit identifies the employee as an occupational therapist and as close friends with the female assistant principal.
It describes how in 2015 gossip that the two were in a relationship began to spread, something that is pointed out several times in the document as false, by school staff.
The assistant principal, who was married to the district’s high school band teacher, filed for divorce in 2016 citing his “controlling and abusive” behavior.
He is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, accused of originating the idea of the affair because he “could not fathom the notion that two women could be friends without being lesbians.”
The band teacher is also accused of telling “anyone who would take the time to listen” that his wife had left him for the assistant principal including the district, her elderly parents, and her husband, who later filed for divorce citing adultery.
The Plaintiff claims that the district treated her unfairly, reassigning her to a new school two days before the start of the 2016 academic year and questioning her ability to perform her job due to the false allegations.
The move in the lawsuit is partly blamed for her two months of unpaid medical leave after physical manifestations of stress, including nightmares, headaches, and nausea left her unable to do her job.
Eventually, the Plaintiff became unemployed and moved away from the Charleston and Walterboro communities.
A band teacher of the same name as the defendant is still listed as an employee on the high school’s website, while the two women appear to no longer work for the district.
Live 5 News has reached out to both defendants listed as well as their attorney and have not yet heard back.
Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.