GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP/WSPA) — A young woman who was abused by her physical education teacher as a middle schooler is suing in South Carolina, saying the school district hired the teacher knowing she’d been previously accused of improper behavior.
The Greenville News reports the Greenville County district responded this week, saying it can’t be blamed for a criminal act by a teacher who had passed a background check.
The lawsuit says the district didn’t properly investigate Meghan Colleen Dougherty when she was hired at Hillcrest Middle School. It says Dougherty sexually and emotionally abused the girl for years. It says Dougherty resigned in 2015 after being confronted. She was arrested and then accused of sexually assaulting the same victim after posting bail. Dougherty pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct with a minor in 2017.
The Greenville County Schools released the following statement:
Ms. Doughtery’s employment with Greenville County Schools ended immediately after the district received information that she had been accused of inappropriate conduct toward a student. All GCS employees undergo thorough background checks when hired and receive regular training on proper conduct toward students. Employees and students are informed how to report any conduct that they feel is inappropriate. GCS would never allow a teacher to remain in the classroom when there is evidence of sexual misconduct. The District will respond to and defend against the claims made in the lawsuit.