Following charges of assault against a student and the subsequent nearly-90-day investigation, Anson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Greg Firn said he has informed former county schools’ ESL teacher Pat Frost that she is being placed on suspension without pay, and the school system has begun the process of her dismissal.
Frost, who taught English as a second language in Anson County Schools, has been on administrative leave since the incident in early June at Anson High School. Frost claims she acted in self-defense when she slapped the student, Johnathan Smith, 18. Smith alleges that Frost asked him to pull up his baggy shorts, and when he didn’t, she followed him around the parking lot. An altercation ensued, during which Frost slapped Smith, and he slapped her back. Both have filed charges of assault against each other.
Throughout the 90 days since the allegations first surfaced, Frost has reiterated that she acted in self-defense, and her attorney, Josh Van Kampen of Charlotte, announced Friday that he’s already at work to appeal the decision. “Pat now has 14 days to file an appeal for a case manager hearing,” he said. “After the superintendent dithered for nearly 90 days to inform Pat of his decision, we’re unfortunately not surprised that he would add insult to injury and seek dismissal. We are eager to proceed with the case manager process.”
On Aug. 27, Van Kampen contacted local news outlets with criminal records on Smith, obtained from the Wadesboro Police Department. In February 2012, Smith was charged with assault on a female, sexual battery and kidnapping. “The records are extremely troubling (he was arrested and charged for assault on a female, sexual battery and second degree kidnapping of a female student) and raise questions as to why Anson County Schools did not expel him well before the incident between himself and Ms. Frost,” Van Kampen said.
When asked about the charges, Dr. Firn said, “Those incidents had no bearing on my decision. They had no effect on the school system. We are following the evidence in this case, including interviews and surveillance videos.”
Smith is now a senior at Anson High School.
“When the truth comes out, we’re very confident that Pat will be back working at Anson County Schools this school year,” Van Kampen said.
“I have been doing all I can to protect Ms. Frost, our students and our schools,” Firn said. “I have refused to try this in the court of public opinion.”