School employee arrested Accused in sex case involving student

The theater manager at the Charleston County School of the Arts was arrested by North Charleston Police Thursday. School district officials say it involved alleged inappropriate contact with a high school student.

Carl Barnwell Jr., 30, of Woodmere Drive in Charleston, was charged with sexual battery of a student. He was immediately placed on administrative leave, according to school district officials.

The school’s principal reported to police that a parent had told her that she had “compelling evidence of a teacher having a inappropriate relationship with student,” a police report stated.

Police interviewed that parent who told investigators she had letters between her daughter and the alleged victim talking about an affair between a student and teacher, the report stated.

The letters were later obtained by police. The alleged victim also identified Barnwell as her mentor and “tech teacher.”

Parents received an automated call today about the arrest but it did not state the name of the staff member. District officials released this statement:

“A staff member at the School of the Arts was arrested today for alleged inappropriate contact with a high school student and was immediately placed on administrative leave. Providing a safe and secure learning environment for all our students continues to be our top priority. Because this is now a police matter, details about the case should be directed to the City of North Charleston Police Department.”

A bond hearing for Barnwell is set for 10 a.m. today.

*Editor’s Note: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly listed the charge against Barnwell. He is charged with sexual battery of a student. The Post and Courier regrets the error.

Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.