Tuesday, July 22, 2008
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COVINGTON - New Journey Learning Center, located in the Heritage Park apartment complex, has been cleared of allegations of child cruelty lodged against it in December, according to documents released by Bright From The Start of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
A parent of a 2-year-old alleged that a teacher at the center spanked her son for wetting his pants. She contacted the Newton County Sheriff's Office, which turned the investigation over to the state agency responsible for licensing child care learning centers.
Consultant Jennifer Taylor concluded in her investigation the following: "Based on staff statements the allegation is not substantiated. Statements indicate that no one saw the teacher in question ever spank a child. Staff statements indicate that time out is used in the classroom. The consultant observed staff throughout the center to use redirection."
A second allegation that a 6-year-old child at the center was "consistently being hit, slapped and kicked by an 8-year-old child that attends after school care," was also found to be unfounded by Taylor.
Regarding that complaint, Taylor said, "Based on staff statements and observations made by the consultant, the allegation is not substantiated. Statements indicate there was an incident in which two children were playing on the playground and one child accidentally hit another child.
"Statements further indicate that the same two children, on another day, were arguing and started to push one another. Statements further indicate that the two children were separated from each other immediately. Statements indicate that the parent was notified of the incidents.
"During this visit the consultant observed staff to provide watchful oversight to the children in their care. The consultant also observed the staff member to quickly intervene when a child was trying to climb on a chair."
Barbara Knowles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.