A former special education teacher in Greenwood County School District 50 has been arrested on abuse charges.

Joel Mark Leckie, 55, of Clinton was booked at 9:12 a.m. Friday by the Greenwood County Sheriff Office on two counts of cruelty to children and three counts of abuse of a vulnerable adult. Leckie worked as a special education teacher at Northside Middle School. He is no longer employed by the district.

A school resource officer received reports Feb. 27 of one student having bruises, and officers began investigating and interviewing people involved, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

“We take these matters very seriously,” the district said in a release. “The safety of our students is always our top priority. Our district is cooperating fully with law enforcement during the investigation of this matter.”

According to his page on District 50’s website, Leckie spent two decades with the state Department of Disabilities and Special Needs before coming to Northside. The page has since been removed and was accessed through a Google cache of the webpage.

Investigators asked anyone with information on this situation to call GCSO at 864-942-8600, Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or email GCSO at tips@greenwoodsc.gov.