No criminal charges will be filed against Septima P. Clark Corporate Academy’s program director, Andrew HaLevi, the principal who alledgedly forced a 16-year-old student to sit on a school bus in her panties.
According to a news release from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, an investigation and consultation with the Solicitor’s Office and the County Attorney’s office, found no reason for criminal charges.
HaLevi has been placed on paid administrative leave by the Charleston County School District after the incident in which he approached a student on Friday about her dress, “which he believed to be an inappropriate length.” The student agreed to change into sweatpants provided by the school.
At the end of the school day, HaLevi told an employee to stop the school buses from leaving because he wanted the sweatpants back, according to an incident report. The school resource officer wrote that HaLevi entered a school bus and then exited it with the sweatpants in his hands.
“At this time,” the deputy wrote, the student “stuck her head out the window crying and began screaming that he was making her ride the bus without any pants on.”
HaLevi re-entered the bus and spoke to some students, then left the bus without the sweatpants. The officer boarded the bus and found the student with the sweatpants next to her wearing a T-shirt, a zip-up sweatshirt and panties. Students on the bus said another student had the dress.
The student’s mother and Marvin Lamar Bowens, a member of the Constituent District 23 Board of Trustees, are pushing to have HaLevi fired.
Bowens, who is the student’s uncle, said that if the school district has not fired HaLevi or handed the decision over to the county school board by Friday, he and other activists will begin protesting in front of Clark Academy on Monday.
Bowens also said he thinks HaLevi should be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a criminal charge that can carry up to a three-year prison sentence or a $3,000 fine under state law. He said that if the Solicitor’s Office denies his request to consider the charge, he will ask the State Law Enforcement Division to open an investigation of the incident.
But there was no word Tuesday on whether or when HaLevi will return to school. District spokesman Daniel Head said that HaLevi is still on administrative leave pending the outcome of a district investigation.
Clark Academy is a districtwide alternative program on James Island for high school students who have fallen behind academically.