SC educator accused of excessive force with student waives right to hearing

KINGSTREE, S.C. (WBTW) — A high school official in Kingstree who was caught on cell phone video using a choke-hold on a 15-year-old has waived his right to a hearing and accepted a public reprimand.

In May, Mack Henry Burgess helped break up a fight between two girls at Kingstree Senior High School. Burgess grabbed one of the girls and placed her in a choke hold to restrain her.

The video shows that after several seconds in the choke-hold, the girl went limp. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The girl’s mother filed a complaint for excessive force and one week after the incident, Burgess was placed on administrative leave for the rest of the school year.

The consent order says he was not considered for rehire for the 2016-2017 school year.

On June 30, the SC Department of Education sent notice to Burgess informing him that the State Board would meet to determine possible disciplinary action of his educator certificate. After receiving the notice, he agreed to waive his right to a hearing and accept a public reprimand. The state board has voted to accept the consent order of public reprimand.

The consent order says Burgess acknowledged he “has engaged in unprofessional conduct by failing to use appropriate judgement when he used inappropriate physical force against a student.”

Burgess holds a South Carolina professional educator certificate and has over 45 years of teaching experience, the document says. He previously had no record of disciplinary action with the state board and he was employed as an assistant principal at the time of the incident.


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