Crime & Public Safety

2nd Beaufort County school employee charged after criminal misconduct with students, police say

2 Beaufort County employees arrested after incident involving students, police say

Two Beaufort County School District employees — a teacher and a media assistant — were arrested Monday after an incident that happened at a Lady's Island residence last week, police say. Here's what they were charged with.
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Two Beaufort County School District employees — a teacher and a media assistant — were arrested Monday after an incident that happened at a Lady's Island residence last week, police say. Here's what they were charged with.

Two Battery Creek High School employees face criminal charges for misconduct with students, officials said Monday.

A Battery Creek High teacher has been accused of sexual battery with two students and providing alcohol to three minors. A second school employee was arrested for providing alcohol to minors, according to news releases Monday from the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

The two employees threw a party last week over spring break with three 18-year-old male students, according to an email superintendent Jeff Moss wrote to school board members Monday morning.

Brittney Whetzel, 28, of Lady's Island, is charged with two counts of sexual battery with a student ages 18 or older and three counts of transfer of beer or wine for an underage person’s consumption between April 9 and April 10, the news release said.

Whetzel was arrested Monday morning at her home and is being held at the Beaufort County Detention Center, according to jail documents.

Battery Creek's website says Whetzel is an English teacher who previously taught at Boiling Springs High School.

Whetzel began working for the district in the 2016-17 school year and was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday, according to district spokesman Jim Foster.

Akina Andrews, 23, of Laurel Bay, turned herself in to investigators Monday. The school media assistant is charged with three counts of transfer of beer or wine for an underage person’s consumption.

She began working for the district in August and was placed on administrative leave Wednesday, Foster said.

"The district has been cooperating with law enforcement in its investigation," Foster wrote in a prepared email statement, adding that the district notified the Sheriff's Office of potential criminal activity.

This isn't the first incident this school year involving Battery Creek High School employees facing allegations of misconduct with students.

In November, the Sheriff's Office investigated an incident involving Spanish teacher Fabian Jaimes for kissing a female student on the cheek, telling her he wanted to marry her and requesting a photo of her wearing her sports uniform. Deputies ultimately found that no crime had been committed, but their report raised questions about how cooperative district officials, including Moss, were in the criminal investigation.

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