- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A jury has awarded a former vice principal $1 million from Dorchester District 2 for improperly demoting her amid allegations she failed to report student abuse.

A Dorchester County jury sided with Mary Rita Watson on Wednesday in a lawsuit stemming from alleged abuse at Knightsville Elementary School five years ago.

The case concerned a teaching assistant allegedly physically abusing autistic students. Watson was originally charged with failing to report the abuse but those charges were later dismissed. Watson sued after she was demoted to a 5th grade teacher.

Attorney Greg Meyers said after the allegations his client was unable to find a job. State law limits the district’s liability to $300,000. District Superintendent Joe Pye said he could not talk about the verdict.

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