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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Accusations Pile Up: Horry County Special Education in the Spotlight for Repeated Allegations

MYRTLE BEACH, SC - In an unusual turn of events, Horry County Police have closed an investigation into a special education teacher from Socastee High School, Rachel Gray, who was accused of an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student. The case was dropped after the victim's parents opted not to press charges, despite clear allegations of sexual misconduct.

The allegations emerged in late March when the parents of the student discovered the concerning relationship between their son and his teacher, Gray. The family promptly informed the school district and their attorney, Joshua Slavin, and filed a lawsuit on Monday.

Following the communication from the parent's attorney about the forthcoming litigation, the school swiftly reached out to the police. Records obtained from The Sun News indicate that a search warrant was issued for Gray's phone, and significant evidence, emailed by Slavin, was reviewed by Horry County detective John Brantly.

However, when Brantly attempted to reach out to the victim's family regarding pressing charges, he received a resolute response. The report states, “After explaining again that this had nothing to do with a civil litigation thing, that this was a criminal investigation he advised that he had a 5 million dollar lawsuit against the school and his attorney advised him not to talk to anyone.”

Slavin later confirmed that the family had decided against pressing charges as they deemed a criminal case would be “too invasive.” Despite a follow-up inquiry from the police on April 24, the family maintained their silence. As of now, no charges have been made against Gray. Horry County spokesperson Mikayla Moscov was unavailable for immediate comment.

The lawsuit brought against Gray includes allegations of “grooming” the student through “preferential treatment.” This included completing his homework assignments, sending messages on Snapchat, inflating his grades, and initiating inappropriate sexual behavior in the spring.

The complaint further details how Gray kept the student, referred to as John Doe, in her class after other students were dismissed and sexually assaulted him. Additionally, she sent explicit messages and nude pictures to John Doe via Snapchat and tracked his phone's location.

Gray has been a special education teacher at Socastee High School since the 2016-17 school year and was appointed as the head coach of the Socastee women's volleyball team in 2019. As of Tuesday, her teaching certification remains active, according to the S.C. Department of Education records. However, her listed district remains unknown.

This lawsuit adds to a recent wave of allegations against HCS special education employees accused of harming their students. This year alone, three employees, including special education teachers at Ocean Bay Elementary and St. James Intermediate, have been arrested for allegedly hitting or physically restraining students.

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