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SC school board member charged with neglect for leaving kids in running car during meeting

The children told police that they weren't allowed to go inside as their grandmother rushed into a work session on Sept. 1.
Credit: WLTX

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — A local South Carolina board of education member is facing charges after leaving two small children in her vehicle as she rushed into a board meeting roughly a week earlier.

According to a police report filed by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, the incident unfolded in the parking lot of the Summerville Adult Learning Center (1325-A Boone Hill Rd.) around 5:20 p.m. as a work session was underway inside.

The report states that an off-duty officer was on assignment at the location when he heard a "loud banging" coming from the front door of the entrance. A security officer then responded and opened the door for the woman, identified as Dorchester District Two board member Barbara Crosby.

According to the report, she told the security officer that she was late and that she left her 4-year-old and 9-year-old grandchildren in her vehicle. 

During this exchange, however, she was told she couldn't leave the kids in the car, however, the report states, she told another member of security personnel about the kids as she continued to the meeting room. She then asked one security guard to watch the children.

Following those comments, the security guard contacted the director of security and explained the situation. The off-duty deputy and the head of security then went out to the vehicle, an SUV parked about 100 feet from the building entrance, and saw what Crosby described was accurate.

The two children were in the vehicle with the doors locked. The report does suggest the vehicle was running but does not say whether the air conditioning was on.

Officers then began devising how to handle the situation, at one point looking to forcefully entering the vehicle. After speaking again to Crosby and learning that the keys were outside, the security chief came out and convinced the 9-year-old to open the door.

However, the child explained that they could not go inside as they had been exposed to COVID and that their mother was coming to get them.

She arrived about 20 minutes later to pick them up after authorities at the scene determined that they weren't in danger.

The report lists the incident type as two counts of "child endangerment." However, warrants released on Friday listed charges two of unlawful neglect of a child and one of misconduct in office by a public official.