BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - There is a sense of shock in Beaufort County after two Battery Creek High School employees were arrested and accused of giving alcohol to minors.
The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office has launched an investigation into the sexual battery incidents involving two students and providing alcohol to three minors that occurred at a residence on Lady's Island between April 9 and April 10.
Teacher, 28-year-old Brittney Whetzel, a teacher, is also facing charges of sexual battery against a student. According to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, Whetzel was arrested at her Lady's Island home before 8:30 Monday morning. She was charged two counts of sexual battery with a student and three counts of transfer of beer or wine for an underage person's consumption. Her neighbors, who did not want to be identified, are still in shock after finding out about their neighbor.
"It's got me rocked right. I mean, you know, I didn't know what was going on over there. I just knew there were cops over there. When you wake up one day and see practically half of the Beaufort Police Department sitting outside your front door..."
School officials were made aware of the alleged criminal activity last week and moved swiftly by placing both employees on administrative leave.
"Anytime we're aware of something going on in schools that is against the law, it's unethical, it's unprofessional we move forward on that. If we think it might be illegal, we contact law enforcement immediately," said Jim Foster, Beaufort County School District, Spokesperson.
For neighbors, knowing just who Whetzel is remains a mystery.
"I couldn't tell you what she looks like. That's how often I see her," a neighbor said.
School officials say employees are dedicated to the welfare of kids and hope this doesn't take away the confidence parents have to teachers in the classroom at Battery Creek High.
Akina Andrews, a media assistant, was the other employee arrested.
"Know what your child is doing, even visit the schools. Sometimes you may have to go and sit in the classroom," said concerned parent, Gloria Houston.
"We have to know our teachers by having that parents and students meeting," said another parent, Patricia Williams.
Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner says boundaries need to be reiterated for the school systems.
"I think the message here should be clear, especially to adults. You should not, at any time, purchase beer, wine, or liquor and transfer that to a person underage. It also should be noted that if you're a teacher, you should not have these types of relationships with your students," Sheriff Tanner said.
Following her arrest, Whetzel was transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center and incarcerated. She has yet to receive a bond hearing on the charges, according to BCSO.