DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) – A substitute teacher and staff member from Darlington High School were recently arrested for failing to report alleged abuse by a pastor who is accused of inappropriately touching a boy, according to Darlington Police Chief Danny Watson.
Two days before the arrest of pastor Jamron Reames, a Darlington High School student went to 22-year-old Corey Wells and 24-year-old Brandon Johnson, according to a Darlington Police report.
The victim said he went to Wells, a music appreciation teacher, who told him to tell someone who would listen, the report states. Wells then suggested the student talk to Brandon Johnson, a band director at the school. The student said Johnson told him: “I can’t go by what you say, because you probably did not mean it that way.”
Wells and Johnson are now charged with failing to report criminal sexual conduct, and are out on bond after being booked at the Darlington County Detention Center.
Chief Watson said, per South Carolina laws, the schools have mandatory reporters that are required to report any abuse information to law enforcement.
Audrey Childers with the Darlington School District said the staff member and substitute teacher have been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Mandated reporters are not only obligated to report suspicion or disclosure of abuse, they are morally responsible for creating environments that support students and allow them to feel comfortable disclosing. This is a prime example of why mandated reporters need training to help them recognize the signs of abuse and react responsibly if a disclosure occurs. These educators failed in their legal obligation to disclose, and also in their moral duty to protect the children they serve.