MARION, S.C. — For the second time since 2016, former Marion boys’ basketball coach Andre Weathers’ educator certificate was suspended, per the South Carolina State Board of Education.
The reason, according to that Nov. 21 report, is “as a result of his arrest on two felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, first degree.”
That report continued with the following:
“The SCDE has reason to believe that, due to the serious nature of these allegations of misconduct, Mr. Weathers may pose a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of students, who may be under his instruction and that emergency action is required,” the report states. “After considering the evidence presented by the SCDE, the Chair of the State Board finds that Mr. Weathers’ educator certificate shall be summarily suspended until a due process hearing is held and/or this matter is otherwise resolved. The SCDE is directed to serve notice on Mr. Weathers of the summary suspension, as well as the possible suspension or revocation of his educator certificate.”
Weathers, who resigned earlier this fall from his jobs as Marion boys’ basketball coach and faculty position as computer facilitator, is accused of sending inappropriate texts to a 17-year-old student.
In late October, Weathers’ attorney, Rose Mary Parham, released the following statement:
“Coach Weathers is innocent of all charges,” she stated.
Parham then revealed what she stated on the day Weathers was in bond court:
“Anyone who has had a problem with their cell phone needs to reserve judgment on this case. When the student’s cell phone was confiscated and dialed Coach Weathers’ phone, the call registered as a female friend’s phone number. We turned Coach Weathers’ phone into law enforcement today to enable them to analyze his phone and resolve any confusion. Coach Weathers, who is a father, grandfather, and 20 years retired United States Army, has never been previously arrested.”
On Oct. 26, 2016, Weathers’ educator certificate was suspended by the SCDE for the first time when he was a social studies teacher at Hemingway High School and also the Tiger boys’ basketball coach “as a result of an allegation of an inappropriate relationship between Mr. Weathers and a fifteen year old female high school student.”
Weathers responded with a whistleblower lawsuit against the former superintendent and two others in the Williamsburg County School District. He said in the suit that he was fired in the fall of 2016 as a teacher and boys’ basketball coach at Hemingway High School because he was a whistleblower. In his lone season as the Tigers’ basketball coach, he coached them to a state runner-up finish and was named the Morning News’ Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year.
Weathers’ suit accused the district and employees of allowing students to pass despite failing grades, altering attendance and discipline records and allowing sexual harassment to go unpunished. At one point, according to Weathers’ lawsuit, a school district employee set up a fake account on social media to damage Weathers’ reputation.
After the firing, Weathers said, it was difficult to get work because his teaching certificate was suspended. Weathers was never charged, and his SLED report showed no arrest history. According to the SCDE in 2017, relating to March 28, 2017, “the office of General Counsel confirmed that the two students who made the allegations against Mr. Weathers, were not willing to testify in the trial of this case scheduled March 29, 2017.”
Therefore on March 28, 2017, Weathers’ summary suspension of the educator certificate was lifted.
Then, according to federal court documents, Weathers earlier this year received a monetary settlement in his suit against the former superintendent and two others in the Williamsburg County School District.
Financial terms of the settlement, finalized July 30, were not available.