Schofield teacher won't face criminal charges
A Schofield Middle School teacher embroiled in a controversy after reportedly reading to his students from a science fiction book that one parent described as "pornographic" will not face criminal charges, police said.Aiken Public Safety officials said the teacher did not do anything criminal, and the police investigation is closed.At press time Tuesday, they did not give further details.The Aiken County School District's internal investigation remains under way, Associate Superintendent Dr. Cecelia Hewett said Tuesday.On March 12, the teacher was placed on administrative leave while police and school officials investigated whether he breached school policy or the law when he read from three books, among them "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, which became the focus of the probe when a 14-year-old student's mother complained about the subject matter of the book.She went to school officials on Friday, March 9, and then to Aiken Public Safety the following Monday.In addition to the Card novel, which has won several science fiction awards and is listed on numerous children's literary review websites as appropriate for children 12 and older, the teacher read excerpts from an Agatha Christie novel and a young adult novel set in the Old West, officials said.The teacher reportedly selected the books, but may have not followed school policy that would require the books first be reviewed.Joy Shealy, school district academic officer for middle schools, said there is a policy that defines steps teachers should to take when presenting supplemental material."One of the things that teachers are supposed to do is preview material for appropriateness for any questions that may come up," Shealy said. "By doing that, we make sure the materials that are presented to students are age- and instructionally-appropriate - all the things that make a good instructional program."School officials said they expect the matter will be resolved quickly.Administrators said the investigation will include whether school staff followed district protocol in a timely manner."Matters that involve personnel considerations are dealt with promptly but must take into account reasonable measures to protect the privacy of students and staff," according to the district administrator's statement.Rob Novit contributed to this article.Karen Daily, a graduate of USC, has been the crime reporter at the Aiken Standard for seven years. She has reported here since 2001.Amazon: Devil's PaintboxDescription:When orphans Aiden and Maddy Lynch first meet trailrider Jefferson J. Jackson in the spring of 1865, they’re struggling to survive on their family’s drought-ravaged Kansas farm. 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