A former Clover High School teacher was arrested and charged with sexual battery of a student and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to the York County Sheriff’s Office.
Michael Landreth, 24, was booked into the York County Detention Center on Monday afternoon. The battery charge notes the incident involved a 16- or 17-year-old student and was “without aggravated force or coercion.”
Arrest warrants obtained by The Herald's news partner, WSOC-TV, allege that Landreth had sex with a male student at his house last September.
In a statement Monday night, Clover schools spokesman Mychal Frost said Mark Hopkins, the high school’s principal, learned last Thursday about “inappropriate off-campus behavior toward a student.”
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The administration began a “thorough investigation,” and involved the school resource officer, who notified the York County Sheriff’s Office.
“The York County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the allegations, and we have been working closely with law enforcement officials regarding this matter,” the Clover schools statement said.
Landreth has resigned, and a substitute is covering his classes while the district searches for a full-time replacement.
The district said all applicants for employee positions in the school district are subject to a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division background check, and a Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect check through the Department of Social Services.
It is against South Carolina law for a person “affiliated with a school in an official capacity” to have sex with a student, even if the relationship is consensual. If the student is 16 or 17 years old, the crime is a felony and that person could face up to five years in prison.
A Sheriff’s Office report was not available Tuesday morning.
A previous version of Landreth’s Clover High School Web page showed that Landreth was assigned to teach Algebra 2 this year. He also was the head girls’ lacrosse coach, a junior varsity volleyball coach and the sponsor of the Interact Club, a community service organization.
Landreth graduated from Anderson University in December 2012 with a degree in mathematics secondary education, according to the Web page, which is no longer posted on the school’s site. Landreth started working at Clover High School after graduating from Anderson.
“The district takes any incident like this very seriously,” the district statement said. Clover schools’ “primary concern is always the health and safety of our students.”