Hilton Head Director Laid Off as District Investigates Allegations of Sex at School


The Beaufort County School District on Tuesday granted Executive Director Amanda O'Nan, Principal of Hilton Head Island High School, administrative leave while the district conducts a new investigation. allegations that she had sex with a former sheriff's deputy on the school grounds.

The decision, made by acting Superintendent Herb Berg, comes less than a day after The Island Packet and the Beaufort Gazette announced that former Sgt. DeJuan Holmes admitted to allegations in an interview with the Sheriff's Office investigators.

Berg also requested a review of the allegations by the National Board of Education, which can suspend or revoke the certificates of an educator.

Berg's decision contrasts with that of 2016, when former superintendent Jeff Moss and the district stood behind O'Nan, claiming that the directors had investigated the claims and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

District spokesman Jim Foster declined to answer Tuesday afternoon questions about how the district survey would be managed and how it would differ from the district's 2016 survey.

When asked if the district was asking for O'Nan's resignation Tuesday, Foster said he "can not comment because it's a personnel matter".

Foster stated that he did not have an estimate of O'Nan's time off. "It depends on the exam and how it proceeds," Foster said on Tuesday.

Although Foster does not wish to specifically comment on O'Nan's leave conditions, he states however that keys, access cards and electronic devices are revoked for the duration of the leave of any employee.

In June 2018, as a first step to possibly recover his job, Holmes accepted a survey of internal affairs that he avoided in 2016 by resigning. During an 11-minute interview, Holmes admitted to investigators that he had an affair with O'Nan and that he had sex with her at school while on duty.

The allegations about the case made their appearance in April 2016 when O'Nan's husband, O'Nan, O'Nan, complained to the sheriff's office against Holmes.

Chris O'Nan told the investigators that his wife had also been seen "met (Holmes) at school and taken to his office after midnight, where they would stay for more than an hour at a time," according to allegations by the complaint.

Main O 'Nan denied both the case and abuse of his position with the school when allegations were made in 2016. On Monday, O'Nan declined to comment on Holmes' admission.

"This is obviously a personal matter and at this point I will simply say that I have to contact my superintendent and my lawyer," O'Nan said on Monday.

In general, The Packet and the Gazette do not deal with allegations of fact, but both parties occupy or occupy unique positions of public trust. The charges include allegations of abuse of power, use of a public building and school.

In 2016, the district would not have specified what its investigation was, claiming that it could be detrimental to future investigations.

On Tuesday, JoAnn Orischak, a member of the school board, who represents the southern part of Hilton Head Island, repeated what she said in 2016 – that it was "very difficult to know what was done (by the district) to investigate" the allegations at that time.

But if the district finds wrongdoing this time, Orischak said she would expect the district to abide by the rules set for students.

"If there are exceptions for our students and this is specified in the district by-laws, the same thing would apply, if not more, to our leaders and those in leadership positions," he said. she said Tuesday.

Although the District By-laws do not specifically prohibit an employee from having sex on school premises, they lay the groundwork for disciplinary action.

District regulations stipulate that employees must "give students the kind of example that will serve them well in their behavior and which, in turn, helps to create an appropriate school atmosphere."

The regulations further specify that an employee may be disciplined, including dismissal, for "behaving inappropriately to the point of impeding the ability of the employee to perform his or her work. ".

Under the District Student Code of Conduct, a student who practices "sexual behavior or consensual contact" may face up to six days of non-school suspension.

To be able to fire an employee, the Beaufort County Board of Education should approve the Superintendent's recommendation to do so, according to Foster.

The school board and the school staff were informed of Superintendent Berg's decision early Tuesday afternoon.

Berg is expected to make a decision in the coming days on the choice of the high school head in the absence of O. Nan.