Myrtle Beach Elementary teacher’s aide charged for allegedly hitting autistic student

2nd time in six months HCS employee charged with some form of abuse involving special needs student
Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 9:56 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2023 at 6:35 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A 68-year-old woman faces charges after allegedly assaulting an autistic Myrtle Beach Elementary School student.

The warrant states officers were called to the school on Seahawk Way on March 26 for an assault claim.

A 9-year-old autistic student said a teacher’s aide hit him in the face and shoulder. Officers reviewed the videotape of the bathroom area, where the assault allegedly happened.

In the video, the boy enters the bathroom and several minutes later, the teacher’s aide, Georgia Mae Branch, of Myrtle Beach, enters the bathroom. The 9-year-old is next seen exiting the bathroom holding his right shoulder and crying, according to the report.

The warrant says with the child’s mother present, he removed his shirt and officers saw “redness on the victim’s right shoulder several hours later.”

Branch was arrested on Thursday, charged with cruelty to children. She was released on a $1,087 bond the same day.

Horry County Schools said Branch has been on administrative leave with pay since March 27 and will remain so until further notice.

HCS released the following statement to WMBF News:

“On Thursday morning we were notified that Georgia Branch, a paraprofessional at Myrtle Beach Elementary School, was arrested by the Myrtle Beach Police Department for cruelty to children (misdemeanor). Ms. Branch has been on administrative leave with pay since March 27 due to the alleged incident and will remain on leave until further notice.”

This is the third time in six months an employee of HCS was charged with some form of child abuse involving a special needs student.

A teacher and a principal at Ocean Bay Elementary School were arrested and charged in a separate alleged abuse case last November.

Stay with WMBF news for updates.