NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A former Charleston County School Board member is speaking out saying he’s upset with the way the district handled an incident involving a former Meeting Street Elementary at Brentwood teacher. The teacher — Jesse Lerch — was found passed out in a Trident Technical College bathroom with a substance believed to be methamphetamine on Valentine’s Day 2020.
Former Board Member Kevin Hollinshead says he and other members weren’t informed of the incident, despite higher-ups within the district having information.
“I double checked with former board member Chris Collins and he wasn’t aware either,” says Hollinshead.
Hollinshead says the Charleston County School District (CCSD) Superintendent and Chief Operating Officer serve on the board and knew of the allegations against Lerch, whose teaching license was suspended Tuesday of this week.
“They should’ve privy-ed the big board which was us – of something like that – that transpired,” says Hollinshead. “That’s malarkey right there.”
Hollinshead says the failure to inform the board at large about Lerch wasn’t the first time information had been withheld from some board members.
“The atmosphere on the board when I was there, only certain board members knew anything,” says Hollinshead. “A lot of things were kept from us.”
Hollinshead says it goes beyond not sharing knowledge with district leadership — the public has a right to be informed.
“I just think it was kept from the general public,” says Hollinshead. “The general public needs to be aware of situations like that.”
And while Meeting Street Elementary operates under a public-private partnership with CCSD, Hollinshead says the district should bare some responsibility for the school’s students.
“So in other words, you’re making an agreement with an organization that you claim that you’re trying to pass the buck back off to them that’s crazy,” says Hollinshead.
CCSD says that even though the two operate under a public-private partnership, Meeting Street Schools is responsible for disciplinary action of staff at Meeting Street Elementary at Brentwood. News 2 has reached out to Meeting Street Elementary at Brentwood for comment on the story.