An investigation is underway in Richland County after a Midlands mother claims her son was punctured with a pencil at a church’s after-school program. But the pastor of the Word of God Church off Garners Ferry Road said the church has also taken its own action.
“This is seriously an isolated incident that is unfortunate but does not reflect our ministry at all,” said Pastor Eric Davis.
Davis said the incident happened at the after-school homework center, which provides parents that cannot find after-school care and homework assistance. It’s one of many services they offer to the community.
In the incident report, the mother claims that on May 17, when she picked her son up from an after-school program he had puncture marks on his arm.
The mother told deputies that her son said he got in trouble for accidentally poking a girl and that the volunteer used a pencil to puncture his arm several times to show him how it feels.
The mother accuses the volunteer of then telling her boy, ‘you better not tell your mom.’ The report also says the boy’s mother has pictures of the puncture wounds on her cell phone.
“We express our concern by immediately responding, we called the parents, they were assured that we are concerned about this and it was a peaceful meeting. This incident was unfortunate but we would like to resolve it,” Davis said.
After the allegations, Pastor Davis met with everyone involved, including the volunteer, staff and the boy’s parents. Following the meeting, the volunteer was suspended and immediately removed the same day the accusations were made.
With a 2500 member congregation, this is first incident or complaint.
“We have touched thousands of lives over the course of 4 years, everything from outreach, to food, clothing, to the homeless, elderly, youth and it’s amazing that one incident can mar all of the work that goes on everyday,” said Davis.
Deputies say it’s an ongoing investigation.