CCSO says no criminal charges filed in Clark Academy investigation

CCSD investigating claim teen left with no pants on bus

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Officials with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office say there will be no criminal charges following an investigation into a claim that a Clark Academy administrator's actions left a student in her panties on a school bus.

"After our investigation and consultation with the Solicitor's Office and the County Attorney's office, there will be no criminal charges filed in this case," CCSO officials said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Charleston County School District spokesman Daniel Head said on Tuesday that Andrew HaLevi was on paid leave as school officials investigate the incident. HaLevi is Clark Academy's equivalent of a principal. He is responsible for the academy's administrative functions, according to their website.

In addition, Charleston County Sheriff's Lt. Rita Zelinsky said on Monday that no arrests had been made and no charges were pending.

The case involves an incident report that states HaLevi approached a 16-year-old about concerns her dress was too short. After several interactions between HaLevi and the student, the teen agreed to wear sweatpants, the report states.

Later in the day, when school was letting out, HaLevi requested a staff member retrieve the pants from the student, but when the student could not be located, HaLevi requested all buses be stopped so the student could be located, the report states.

The responding officer reported becoming concerned after the buses sat for several minutes and drove to the bus loop. The officer spotted HaLevi walking from the rear of a bus and exiting with the sweatpants in hand, the report states.

"At that time, [name redacted] stuck her head out of the window crying and began screaming that he was making her ride the bus without any pants on that she was in her underwear," the incident report states.

HaLevi told the driver to stop the bus and boarded it again, spoke with the student and returned the sweatpants, then left the bus and asked the school resource officer to find out who had the girl's dress, the report states.

The officer reported students on the bus said another student had the dress and had left and claimed they told HaLevi she did not have clothes to put on.

"At that time, I observed [name redacted] wearing what appeared to be a t-shirt, zip up sweatshirt, and panties. The sweat pants were next to her on the seat," the report states.

The report states the officer told HaLevi the teen's dress was not on the bus and that her mother needed to be notified of the incident and HaLevi agreed, the report states. HaLevi boarded the bus again to speak with the students and said he did not know the teen was not wearing the dress, the officer said.

The teen was taken off the bus and escorted back to the school to wait for her mother to arrive, the officer said.

HaLevi's attorney, Allan R. Holmes, released the following statement on Monday:

Dr. HaLevi has asked me to reply to the frivolous allegations concerning him.

Dr. HaLevi taught at Burke High School for 12 years, and he became Program Director at Septima P. Clark Academy in 2008.  His record as a teacher and an administrator is outstanding. 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not allow for the public dissemination of student educational records.  Without the consent of the Charleston County School District, we will not discuss the particulars of the baseless allegations made against Dr. HaLevi.  We will unequivocally state that he has not engaged in any misconduct of any kind.

As a general matter, extra clothing is kept at the school for students who come to school whose dress does not comply with the dress requirements of the CCSD Code of Conduct.  For example, a student whose dress is too short might be required to wear a pair of sweat pants under her dress.  She would also continue to wear her dress.

Students are expected to return the extra clothing when the school day ends.  However, no student would be required to return sweat pants if she told the school authorities that the sweat pants were her only garment.

We will have no further comment on the matter at this time.    

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