Two Williamsburg County School District employees as well as a security guard that worked for the school district were found not guilty of charges brought against them in September. Courtesy summons were served against Kingstree Senior High School Assistant Principal Mack Burgess and Behavioral Specialist Michael Kelly by the mother of two boys who are students at the school. Burgess was charged with Assault and Battery 3rd degree. Kelly was charged with two counts (both students) of Assault and Battery 3rd degree. On the day of the trial Timothy Powell, an employee of US Security was served a courtesy summons charging him with Assault and Battery 3rd degree.
On September 13, the students were arrested and charged with disturbing school. One student was also charged with threatening a school official. The boys testified that the defendants used excessive force as they were being escorted to the office as well as once in the office. One student received injuries during the incident. Both students also testified to having behavioral problems in the past.
Testimony by Burgess, Kelly, and Powell described the boys as unruly, threatening, and out of control, thereby necessitating the need for restraint. The attorney argued the boys' conduct was consistant with school policy which allows for physical restraint in circumstances where it is nessesary to prevent any further disturbance.
Powell's trial was scheduld for a later date. However, considering his testimony at the trial, the attorney representing Burgess and Powell requested and was granted to have Powell's verdict read at the same time.
The students have requested a jury trial on their charges. A trial date has not been set.