School Board: Elementary teacher reprimanded for hitting student with clipboard

Kara Lynn Merritt
Kara Lynn Merritt(Georgetown County Sheriff's Office)
Updated: Nov. 19, 2020 at 12:25 PM EST
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GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina State Board of Education says they are ordering a Georgetown County teacher to undergo anger management classes after she hit a student with a clipboard.

The State Board says Maryville Elementary Teacher Kara L. Merritt, 43, hit a student with a clipboard after a student continued making noise during morning announcements.

The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office records show that Merritt was booked on Apr. 9 for third degree assault and battery which the school board confirms was in relation to this incident.

A public notice of reprimand says a written statement signed by the student Mar. 3 said that the student arrived home from school and informed his legal guardian that a teacher “contacted his head with a clipboard.” The student said he was in the cafeteria waiting for the bus when students at his table were being loud while Merritt attempted to hear announcements on the cafeteria speaker.

Merritt instructed the students at the table to be quiet, however, the reprimand says one student continued acting out. The reprimand says it was then that Merritt “contacted the student’s head with a clipboard” and told him to be quiet.

When confronted, the reprimand says Merritt denied doing such; however, she maintained if she did make contact it was an accident and she was sorry.

The State Board says a video recording of the incident demonstrated she made contact with the student.

After viewing the video, Merritt reportedly said, “I am mortified at myself” and the reprimand states she indicated she wished to apologize to the student and his family.

By accepting the public notice of reprimand and agreeing to attend six months of SCDE-certified anger management, the State Board says Merritt will be allowed to keep her educator certificate, but she does not have to make any admission to her criminal charges.

Merritt was released from the Georgetown County Detention Center just under two hours after she was booked on a $2,125 bond, arrest records show.

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