Simpsonville woman charged with homicide by child abuse has SC teaching certificate suspended

Local News

SIMPSONVILLE, SC (WSPA) – A woman arrested and charged in the death of a 3-year-old girl last week, has had her educator certificate suspended by the South Carolina State Board of Education.

We reported earlier that Simpsonville Police Department officers responded to an address on Sellwood Circle at around 2:25 p.m. on Jan. 14 in regard to an unresponsive juvenile.

The girl — later identified as Victoria Rose Smith, 3, of Simpsonville — was taken to Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

Police, along with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Greenville County Coroner’s Office, determined during the investigation in the child’s death that she died as a result of physical abuse.

Greenville County Coroner Parks Evans said an autopsy was performed and revealed that Smith died from multiple blunt force injuries. Her death was then ruled a homicide.

Jerry A. Robinson, 34, and Ariel S. Robinson, 29 — Smith’s foster parents — were arrested and were each charged with homicide by child abuse.

They were both taken to the Greenville County Detention Center, where they were being held without bond.

On Jan. 21, the chair of the South Carolina State Board of Education considered and ordered that Ariel Robinson’s professional educator certificate be suspended.

According to the Order of Summary from the Board of Education, Robinson has held a valid professional educator certificate and has over three years of educator experience.

She has reportedly not worked as an educator in South Carolina since 2019.

“The SCDE has reason to believe that, due to the serious nature of this allegation
of misconduct, Ms. Robinson may pose a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of
students who may be under her instruction, and that emergency action is required. After
considering the evidence presented by the SCDE, the Chair of the State Board finds that
Ms. Robinson’s 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 Ms. Robinson of the summary suspension, as well as the possible suspension or
revocation of her educator certificate.”

From the Order of Summary Suspension from the South Carolina State Board of Education

READ THE FULL ORDER OF SUMMARY SUSPENSION HERE

The case of the 3-year-old’s death remains under investigation by the police, SLED and the coroner’s office.

According to SLED news release about the investigation, the state agency said based on South Carolina law, “upon receipt of a report of a child death from the county coroner or medical examiner, SLED is directed to investigate and gather all information on a child fatality.”

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