Myrtle Beach area school staff, parents discuss hiring of sex offender

Parents met with officials from St. Michael Catholic Church and School in Garden City Beach and from the Diocese of Charleston Wednesday night about the hiring of a registered sex offender who had worked on the school grounds, according to diocese officials.

“We listened to everyone’s concerns, and we are taking those concerns to the bishop,” said Maria Aselage, the diocese’s director of media relations.

The worker had been hired as an independent contractor to power wash the church building, Aselage said. An anonymous caller informed church staff that the worker was listed on the National Sex Offender Registry, which the worker confirmed, and then he was asked immediately to leave the property, she said.

Aselage said the meeting was called to explain the diosese’s Safe Environment Program. She said church policy states a background screening is required for any full-time employee or any volunteer who has regular access to children.

“This gentleman was hired for a one-time job to power wash the campus and did not fall under the policy,” she said.

Aselage said the policy is set by the bishop and encompasses the entire diocese. For more information on church policies, visit sccatholic.org.