Rep. Seth Rose, D-Columbia, helped a Richland District 2 fight back against charges he assaulted a student in court this week.
Karon Wilson Jr., a former Ridge View High math teacher, saw charges of third-degree assault and battery, and breach of peach, dropped after a magistrate court hearing on Aug. 15. The assault charge could have brought Wilson 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
In May, Wilson turned himself into Richland County's Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center after the altercation in his classroom. A group of students, including a 15-year-old came into his class after lunch when they weren't supposed to be there, Wilson said. He went on to say the 15-year-old student pushed him, then swung and hit Wilson in the head. That's when Wilson "began to defend himself because he wasn't going to just allow (the student) to hit him," Rose said.
"I defended myself. I was in my classroon. (He) had no business being in my classroom. He wasn't even my student," said Wilson, who is moving on from teaching after 14 years in the profession. Rose said his client was ready to fight the charges in front of a jury, and students attended the hearing to testify Wilson's innocence. Rose said he was prepared to assert a "stand your ground" defense.
Instead of going to a jury trial, the Solicitor's Office offered to drop the charges with no admission of guilt if Wilson agreed to community service. The student was also charged with assault and battery and breach of case. His case, however, was handled in family court.
"No public school teacher should be put in the position that when they are being threatened or attacked, that they can't defend their safety or their students," Rose said.
"I pray no other has to go through this," Wilson said. "It's hard enough being a teacher. We have to deal with a lot... We can leave the profession which is what is happening, not only in South Carolina, but across the nation in numbers. We're leaving in masses."
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