Attorney for former teacher of the year accused of assaulting student calls situation a 'travesty'

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A science teacher at Myrtle Beach High School turned himself in to police and is suspended from teaching after he allegedly grabbed a student by his jacket and slammed him into a chair, causing him to roll back into a wall, according to the mother of the student.

Tim Beck, 48, who was MBHS's 2015 Teacher of the Year, has been suspended from teaching, according to his attorney, and appeared in city court Thursday morning after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The arrest report and warrant state that on March 22, the student's mother and the student told officers about the incident that had taken place earlier in the day at the high school. The victim told police he was passing a note with a female classmate when Beck noticed it and asked that it be handed over. The student said he did not have the note at that time, but Beck "proceeded to rip the victim out of his chair by the hood of his jacket and aggressively stated to find it." The student said he did not know where the note was.

The female student then told Beck that she had it, and handed it to Beck, the student told police. Beck then threw the student down in his chair, causing him to roll back into his chair and hit the wall, the report states.

The student told police "everyone in the classroom was quiet due to shock." The student said he chose to walk back to Beck's classroom after school and apologize. Beck said he "did not want to hear it and walked away," the student said.

Beck's lawyer, Bill Monckton, said that the statements from other students who witnessed the incident, which happened last Thursday, did not corroborate the involved student's account of what happened.

"Unfortunately, the warrant had been issued, so we had to bring Mr. Beck down here and surrender him, which I think is an absolute travesty," Monckton said.

Monckton said Beck has been a teacher at MBHS for nine years, and is an exemplary educator.

"Unfortunately, this student was misbehaving in class, which is obvious from talking to - reading the statements, and Mr. Beck addressed it," Monckton said. "Unfortunately, in our community today, some people don't think their kids should misbehave, unfortunately."

Monckton asserted that this was a "knee-jerk reaction," and not all the facts were looked at, "which is disheartening."

Hear more from Monckton here:

"My son was assaulted by his teacher during the last few minutes of the last block of his day," said Renee Holder, the student's mother. "It was very innocent, my son just turned 16. He got a note from a little girl, he passed it back."

Beck believed the student was passing a note in class and demanded to see the note, Holder said. When the student said he did not have a note, Beck grabbed the student by his jacket, pulled him out of his desk, and slammed him against a table and told him to find the note, she said. When her son said he didn't have it, Beck pushed him, and he landed in a rolling chair that rolled up against the wall, Holder continued.

"He was in shock," Holder said about her son. "It was very unexpected...I don't know where you would expect to have that behavior. It's just not appropriate, and it's caused me a lot of concern about what is happening at the school. I feel like he's a bully. We're concerned about student bullies, but have we thought about teacher bullies? Yes, you can be a pillar of the community and still be a bully."

Police records show that Beck has been charged with third-degree assault and battery and was booked into Myrtle Beach Jail with a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

During his bond hearing, Beck was ordered to have no contact with the student, and his trial date was set for April 23 at 10 a.m.

Horry County Schools spokesperson Lisa Bourcier provided the following statement: "Due to personnel issues, we are not able to provide additional details as to the nature of the incident other than to report that the district responded appropriately by placing Mr. Beck on administrative leave with pay, pending an investigation."

Stay tuned to WMBF News for more details on this incident later today.

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