Abuse allegations surface against Dorchester Montessori teacher

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) - Dorchester County deputies are looking into allegations an employee at the Montessori school in Knightsville physically abused several children in November.

The investigation comes after a parent of one of the students came forward with claims of abuse against her daughter.

According to the report filed by a teacher's assistant, she told officers she saw one of the teachers repeatedly "lock 4-year-old students in a dark bathroom and force them to sit on the floor." The report states the assistant also saw the teacher force feed a student by holding the child's head back until she swallowed the food.

The assistant also told deputies the teacher put tape over another 4-year-old student's mouth who "was being disruptive." According to the report, a school administrator saw it happening but did nothing to stop it.

On Tuesday, a woman whose child attends the school said her 3-year-old daughter told her the teacher had hit her. The mother also said the teacher put tape over the girl's mouth several weeks earlier, the report states.

Dorchester County Department of Social Services officials told deputies they did not have any prior complaints about the teacher.