YORK, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A teacher at a York County middle school was charged with assaulting a student, according to the police department.

Mary Long, 32, a York Middle School teacher, was formally charged with third-degree assault and battery on Monday, March 6, 2023.

Mary Long (Courtesy: York Police Department)

According to the incident report, it happened on March 3, 2023, and the juvenile hit said he was ‘play slapping with a friend’ while the students were lining up to go to their next class.

The kids continued to ‘play slap’ after Long told them to stop, and the report continued, stating Long “slapped him [a 13-year-old student] on the right cheek with the back of her left hand and said, ‘how would you like it if someone slapped you?'”

Police say Long turned herself in to authorities Monday.

“The student, in this case, reached out to York Middle School officials on the day of the incident to share what happened between him and Long in the classroom,” Lt. Kevin Hoffman said. “Our investigation, in coordination with the juvenile’s parents and the York School District, revealed that an assault upon the juvenile was committed.”

The case will be tried in the York Municipal Court and has a trial date of March 23, 2023.

York County Schools sent the following statement regarding the incident:

“York County School District 1 and its Board of Trustees value transparency and keeping our stakeholders updated on pressing matters, especially those involving our students. 

On March 2, 2023, it was reported to District administration that a teacher at York Middle School was alleged to have had inappropriate physical contact with a student in the classroom that runs counter to the District’s Board Policies and the expectations we have for our staff. 

As a result and pending the District’s further investigation, the teacher was placed on administrative leave. 

As of March 3, 2023, the teacher is no longer employed with the District.

Local law enforcement officials were notified, and the District is cooperating with York Police Department in all aspects. 

The District takes seriously that matter and desires to move forward in a positive direction; it will not provide further comment on any specific students to ensure their privacy rights are protected.

Situations involving our students and staff are important. 

It is our expectation that our staff and students follow our Board Policies and administrative procedures at all times, and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation as we educate each of our students and provide the most successful learning environment for them.”