Charter school director on leave during investigation of 2020 sexual assault claim – Coastal Observer


Charter school director on leave during investigation of 2020 sexual assault claim

Chris Bergeron was named director of the charter school this year.

Chris Bergeron, the director of Coastal Montessori Charter School, has been placed on paid administrative leave while the sheriff’s office investigates an allegation that he sexually assaulted a Waccamaw Middle School student three years ago.

An Horry County woman told a sheriff’s deputy and a victim’s service officer on Aug. 29 of a “possible sex assault” involving her daughter on Oct. 1, 2020. At the time, Bergeron was a physical education teacher at the middle school. The girl was 13, according to the report.

As part of the conditions of his leave, Bergeron is not allowed to have any contact with school staff, parents and students.

After seeking permission from the school’s board, Bergeron released a statement Wednesday afternoon calling the allegation “vile, malicious,” and “blatantly false.”

“Being falsely accused is bad enough, but being forced to be away from school and having to avoid communicating with people has made this a nightmare for me and my family,” Bergeron wrote.

Along with the police report, someone called the school on Sept. 1 to report the allegation. Bergeron then informed the school’s board of directors.

Although the charter school is sponsored by the Georgetown County School District, it is run by its board.

In his statement, Bergeron wrote that it was the board’s attorney that directed the board to place him on leave.

Meagan Leventis, board chairman, released a statement on behalf of the board Wednesday stating that they would not comment on the “confidential personnel matter.”

“As we await further information, we will carefully consider the appropriate next steps,” the statement said.

In Bergeron’s absence, assistant director Chip Hennecy has been overseeing the school’s operations. 

Jason Lesley, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said the investigation is ongoing.

Bergeron was the charter school’s physical education teacher when he was hired as director in May to succeed Rosemary Gray, who retired. It was his second stint teaching at the charter school.



Georgetown County Board of Education: First and third Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Beck Education Center. For details, go to Georgetown County Council: Second and fourth Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Council Chambers, 129 Screven St., Georgetown. For details, go to Pawleys Island Town Council: Second Mondays, 5 p.m. Town Hall, 323 Myrtle Ave. For details, go to   , .