National Action Network demands investigation into threats made to CCSD teacher

VIDEO: National Action Network demands investigation into threats made to CCSD teacher
Published: Jan. 23, 2018 at 5:50 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2018 at 12:45 AM EST
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The National Action Network, and a constituent board member hold a news conference regarding...
The National Action Network, and a constituent board member hold a news conference regarding claims of harassment against a teacher (Source: Live 5)

EDISTO ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The National Action Network demanded an investigation Tuesday into incidents surrounding a Jane Edwards Elementary School teacher.

The group held a news conference outside of the Edisto Island school claiming a teacher was harassed several times in the classroom by parents last year.

Turhonda Osborne said Tuesday afternoon she's concerned about her safety after several incidents from Nov. 10 until Dec. 14.

"I've had parents volunteer in the classroom and most are fine," Osborne said. "But once it turns into an issue with disruptions, that's when it gets a little out of hand."

According to a Charleston County Sheriff's Office incident report, deputies responded to the school on Dec. 14 for a harassment call.

Osborne told deputies she felt threatened by the presence one of the parents who followed her into the hallway after observing in the classroom that day, the report states.

"[I was told] he had sent an angry letter, that's the way the principal described it, saying that I was dangerous and he needed to come to the school to protect his son and other children at the school from me," Osborne said.

The family listed on the police report didn't want to go on camera, but did provide a copy of the letter they sent to the school administration.

In summary, the parents state they wanted to "documents and report our experience with Ms. Osborne… and do not believe our child is safe in the first-grade classroom of Jane Edwards Elementary, with Ms. Osborne."

The couple explained their concerns about Osborne including absences from school and issues with her teaching methods and the curriculum.

The final paragraph requests Osborne's employment be terminated. The parents also add, "One of us will be in school with our child all day, every day, until accommodations are made".

The National Action Network feels the safety of Osborne and the students were violated.

"We want this to be investigated and we want the results after the investigation," said NAN state coordinator Elder James Johnson.

Osborne said there were three incidents where she felt unsafe at the school, the most recent when she called authorities.

Charleston County School District spokesperson, Andy Pruitt, said they placed Osborne on administrative leave in order to look into the situation and keep her safe.

"If someone comes to the school and threatens a teacher that should be taken seriously and handled in a serious manner," Osborne said.

The family involved in the Dec. 14 incident said they never threatened Osborne, but were very concerned with what was happening in the classroom. They also said they had conversations with Osborne, and the school administration about what was going on.

Pruitt added per CCSD protocol, all adults must check in at the front office in order to enter the school; they are verified through the Raptor Visitor Management System.

The family added they have removed their son from school due to the situation that unfolded.

Since Osborne's return to school Jan. 8, there have been no reported concerns to the school administration, Pruitt said.

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