Advocates network wants accountability in CCSD pedophile case

September 18 19:21 2018 Print This Article

A group of concerned of concerned citizens calling itself the Charleston Advocates Network stood in front of the Charleston County School District (CCSD) office Tuesday, asking for a full investigation of a 2014 case involving child pornography found on an employee’s school computer. An IT staff virus scan revealed that Dunston Elementary School employee Marvin Gethers had child pornography on his computer. Rather than being fired, Gethers was promoted and recognized as the CCSD Classified Employee of the Year. He was later dismissed in 2016 after being charged by North Charleston police with two counts of child molestation. He died while awaiting trial. One of the negligence cases against CCSD was settled for a six-figure sum, and the other is awaiting trial.

The Gethers pedophile story was first exposed by Live 5 News investigative reporter Carter Coyle in August. She and a team of lawyers spent months getting the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) submissions from CCSD. Coyle reported Tuesday that CCSD has already hired a law firm to investigate the Gethers case. School board member Kevin Hollinshead told Lowcountry Source that the board had not been informed of the hire. Hollinshead, along with school board colleagues Chris Staubes, Chris Collins, and Michael Miller had an item added to the September 24 school board meeting agenda to have an external investigation of the case. He said that the law firm hired to review the case should have no financial ties to CCSD, to ensure an impartial investigation. Charleston County Legislative Delegation Chairman Peter McCoy has already appointed Representative Marvin Pendarvis, whose district includes Dunston Elementary, to chair a six-member panel to investigate. The delegation has subpoena authority to get former Superintendent Nancy McGinley (in place at the time the pornography was detected on Gethers’ computer) and other former CCSD employees and current and former school board members to testify.

Advocates group leader Jonathan Thrower (aka Shakem Akhet) called the press conference. He said, “Just because you are not a current (CCSD) employee does not mean you are not subject to an investigation.” Ahket wants to see the legislative committee open its hearings to the public.