Childcare workers in Ohio charged with child endangerment

A state inspection found that the safety and child abuse training required by the staff was initially not met.

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Recorded on surveillance video, two Worthington Learning Center employees in Ohio sat back and watched as several students attacked a 5-year-old student before one of the childcare workers stood up to physically assault the child as well. Although the Columbus Police Department refuses to release the video to the public, they released a photo of the incident online.

On August 13, a surveillance video at the Worthington Learning Center recorded 31-year-old Emma Dietrich and 27-year-old Joshua Tennant sitting at a table in a classroom. At 11:21 a.m., an older student escorted a 5-year-old student into the room.

According to a press release from the Columbus Police Department, several older students began “grabbing, pulling, dragging, swinging, and just ‘bullying’ [the victim]…she appears frightened and keeps her eyes closed or covered and attempts to curl up into a fetal position. At one point [the victim] attempts to get away from the other student and they continue to ‘bully’ her by grabbing her and holding her down.

“During the video Ms. Dietrich and Mr. Tennant continually sit in their chairs at a table and watch the ‘bullying’ actions of the other students against [the victim] and do not attempt to stop the ‘bullying’ actions of the students. At one point in the video Mr. Tennant picks [the victim] up by her right ankle (eventually he grabs her left leg) and carries her upside down and places her back on the rug.”

According to court documents, Dietrich and Tennant allowed the abusive incident to happen as a form of discipline. On Tuesday, Deitrich and Tennant were arrested and charged with child endangerment.

On Wednesday, the Columbus Police Department took to Twitter and wrote, “This case remains an ongoing investigation. While we are protecting the identity of the 5yo victim we want to share with you the severity of what little girl endured in a learning center. Actions by educators who are now facing criminal charges.”

In June, a state inspection found that the safety and child abuse training required by the staff was initially not met. The Columbus Police Department has noted that the Worthington Learning Center has been cooperative during the investigation.

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