Horry County teacher accused of sex with student posts bond
An Horry County middle school teacher charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor has posted his $40,000 bail. He'll now have to wear a GPS monitor so authorities can track him.
Norbert Ryan, a St. James Middle School teacher, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student.
The Horry County School District has placed the 32-year-old teacher on leave with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation into the alleged relationship.
Ryan, an eighth grade Social Studies teacher and football coach at St. James Middle, was asked to leave the school Wednesday after school administrators were informed by a parent of the possible relationship.
"Within just an hour of getting the report and checking on it, we were able to take action," said Horry County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Cindy Elsberry.
She continued, "Whenever there are allegations of a serious nature such as this, we don't wait around. We immediately place the individual on administrative leave."
A few hours later, Horry County Police arrested Ryan off school grounds and charged him with criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
"What this teacher's alleged to have done is heinous. It's not acceptable, and it's inappropriate. It's a non-negotiable that we take strict action," said Dr. Elsberry.
The news stunned parents.
It was "devastation" for Pat McCormick, a parent of a seventh grader at St. James. "You know, when I found out I, couldn't believe it," she said.
"How can a teacher of all people, you know, kids look up to them, they look to them as role models, how can a teacher do that?" asked a bewildered McCormick. "It blows me away," she said.
State prosecutors allege that Ryan and the 13-year-old student had an ongoing sexual relationship and that they considered themselves boyfriend and girlfriend.
They say the student admitted to having sex with Ryan at his home in Myrtle Beach.
"It's very scary," admitted McCormick, "Especially one living this close. I mean, I live right next door to the school."
School officials stress that there were no sexual incidents that occurred on school grounds.
"At school, children are safe, and we have protections in place so that this doesn't happen on our campuses," said Dr. Elsberry.
While school officials take steps to ensure these sort of incidents don't happen on school grounds, parents are taking their own steps, like Pat McCormick and her daughter.
"I'm definitely going to sit down and talk to her, and if she knows of anything or if anything has happened to her, she needs to come to me and talk to me and then go to the authorities," said McCormick.
"Teachers work with impressionable children, and we have to hold them to a higher standard, and we do," said Dr. Elsberry. "We expect them to conduct themselves appropriately both in the classroom and outside the classroom."
She continued, "My message to parents is not to jump to conclusions... It's all based on evidence. If the evidence is clear and very compelling and there's no question involved, it's fairly easy to make a decision like that."
Elsberry admitted, "The evidence up to this point is very, very clear."
Now that Ryan has posted his $40,000 bond, a judge ordered him to wear a GPS monitor so authorities can track him.
Also, he will not be allowed on any Horry County School property, and he'll have to ask the court's permission before leaving the state of South Carolina.
Ryan's initial court appearance is scheduled for January 22nd.
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