A seventh-grade science teacher at Grovetown Middle School was arrested Friday in Columbia County and spent time in two jails.
Kimberly Barnes, 29, was picked up on an outstanding warrant from Edgefield County, S.C., where she has been wanted since last year for credit card theft, authorities say.
According to Edgefield County Sheriff Jody Rowland, the agency had a complaint in March 2022 from Jet Middle School. A teacher said her credit card was stolen and then found after someone made gas and food purchases on it. Barnes, who was a teacher at the Johnston school at the time, was identified as the suspect, but she had already moved from her Aiken County home last year when officers went to locate her. The warrant for the misdemeanor theft was put into the system.
Barnes waived extradition over the weekend after she was arrested in Columbia County, and she was transported to Edgefield, where she later bonded out, Sheriff Rowland said.
Grovetown Middle School Principal Simon Rodriguez sent a letter to parents Monday alerting them to the teacher’s arrest.
“In an effort to keep you informed, we are notifying you of information we received regarding the arrest of current 7th grade Science teacher Kimberly Barnes, by outside law enforcement agencies, for an alleged fraud incident in another state,” the letter said. “On Friday, November 17, 2023, administrators were notified of the arrest.”
The principal said the safety of students and staff is a top priority and the school takes allegations extremely seriously and would be investigated fully. Meanwhile, a substitute teacher was provided in the teacher’s absence.
“This incident will also be submitted to the Professional Standards Commission for further review, as required,” Rodriguez said in the letter.