Teacher on paid leave, accused of abusing autistic student

Myrtle Beach police and the Horry County School District continue to investigate allegations that a Myrtle Beach Intermediate School teacher abused an autistic student.

The teacher, Moncille Thomas, 57, is on paid leave until the investigations are complete. She was charged last week with Unlawful Neglect of a Child.

"We're very limited in terms of what we can report in terms of a personnel matter but there was someone at the school who reported something to the principal which actually launched the investigation," explained Horry County Schools spokeswoman Teal Britton.

Britton added that Thomas has been working in the district with special needs students for the last nine years, but she couldn't say if Thomas has faced similar accusations in the past.

"We aren't able to discuss personnel files of any employee," she explained.

Myrtle Beach police say a witness told them Thomas put dish detergent on her fingers, then put her fingers in the child's mouth to discipline the student for spitting and hit the child with a dustpan.

Britton explained that there was no camera inside the classroom. She added that the district is considering changing that policy somewhere down the line.

"We have to look at changing in policy, we have to look at privacy rights, we have to look at changing procedures."

It could take up to six months before we learn the results of the investigations.

We reached out to Thomas for a comment on the accusation, but she declined to comment.