2 arrests made in reported abuse of Loris Elementary student

Wayne Kenneth Dare, 30 (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Wayne Kenneth Dare, 30 (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Brenda Marie Gray (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Brenda Marie Gray (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

LORIS, SC (WMBF) Two suspects have been arrested after a child in a Loris area school was transported to a local hospital when he arrived at school with signs of being abused Thursday morning.

Teal Britton, spokeswoman for Horry County Schools, said the 11-year-old male student came to school with visible signs of being beaten.

The Loris Elementary fifth grader was transported to a local hospital by Emergency Medical Services.

Loris Police Chief Joseph Vaught said someone at the school called his police department, and officers responded to the school just after 7:30 a.m. However, it was determined that the incident actually took place in Horry County, so Vaught said the investigation was turned over to Horry County Police Department.

Sgt. Robert Kegler with HCPD released the police report in this case to WMBF News Friday morning.

The report states that the 11-year-old boy rode the bus home from school Wednesday afternoon, and a 30-year-old male who lives in the home with the victim was informed the young boy had misbehaved while on the bus.

As stated in the report, the male, Wayne Dare of Loris, "flipped out" and punched the victim on the left side of his face and again on the right side. The boy told police that after he was struck the second time, he fell to the floor and wanted to leave the home to go to his grandparent's residence, but Dare would not allow him to go.

A female who also lives in the home, 34-year-old Brenda Gray, told police she was at work at the time of the incident, but that Dare called her and said, "I [expletive] up," as stated on the report.

When Gray came home Wednesday evening, she said she looked at the boy's facial wounds as he was sleeping and again Thursday morning and told police "she did not think it was that bad" and put him on the school bus to go to school.

Once the victim arrived at school, he told school employees what happened Wednesday afternoon and police and EMS were immediately contacted.

The boy was treated at a local hospital and released to the care of his grandparents Thursday afternoon.

Dare and Gray were arrested and booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center just after 4 p.m. Thursday where they remain incarcerated Friday morning.

Dare is charged with third degree assault and battery while Gray faces one charge of unlawful neglect of a child. Bail has not yet been set for either suspect.

South Carolina teachers attending an education conference in North Myrtle Beach Thursday said it sounded like the possible abuse was property reported.

"Teachers do it perfectly most days," commented teacher Ann Marie Taylor. "But our perfect stuff doesn't get reported. It's the times when we don't do the right thing of course - that's when it gets reported in the news. I think there are cases in Horry County and all over the state where teachers are reporting daily things they see. You probably would be shocked to know the numbers. It's the time we don't get it right that we're in the media unfortunately."

Taylor was referring to a case from Wednesday. Myrtle Beach Police arrested a guidance counselor and a teacher at Myrtle Beach Intermediate School and charged them with not reporting abuse.

"I was shocked, and I also thought oh my goodness were they not reminded of the law at the beginning of the year?" said Jackie Hicks, President of the South Carolina Educators Association.

Horry County Schools does train teachers on the law that says they are mandated to report suspected abuse. Taylor said teachers are not just following the law when they report possible abuse. She said they are also creating an environment for children to learn.

"When you see something that's not going to work, not just from an educational standpoint but from a safety standpoint, it doesn't matter what your opinion is at that point, as an educator you have to report it," Taylor said.

Hicks pointed out that the reporting is expected to be done immediately by the person who suspects the abuse or neglect. Contacting a supervisor is not acceptable as the only action she said.

She also said the arrests on Wednesday may have caused teachers in Horry County and the Pee Dee to be more vigilant about reporting concerns.

"It's heightened awareness - your reporting on this situation. All of us need to be reminded of just how important we are in that child's life," Hicks said.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.