A preschool teacher no longer faces a criminal charge after video from a day care center failed to back up a story from the boy’s parents that she scratched and bruised the boy’s neck dragging him into a classroom.
A Wayne County District Court judge dismissed a charge of misdemeanor child abuse against Joshelyn Parker, a former teacher at the Goldsboro Family YMCA.
Her lawyer, Darrell K. Brown, said he was uncertain what Parker would do next. The state suspended Parker's teaching certification after the charge was filed, Brown said, and he did not know whether she would seek reinstatement.
The YMCA has video cameras in its classrooms, playground, hallway and gym. Several cameras recorded the interaction between Parker and the child from different angles. In the video recordings, Parker doesn’t appear to touch the boy’s neck.
Parker was not the boy's regular teacher, and her time with him that day was limited.
The boy’s father, Jasin Van Den Broeke, said the charges were dismissed because his son was too young to testify. The recordings don't show the boy's entire day at the day care, he said.
A camera captures the boy going into the gym by himself and sitting under a piece of furniture. Recordings show Parker bringing him back to the classroom. During the short walk back, the boy stops four times to sit on the floor. Parker lifts him to his feet with her hands under his arms. The fourth time he plops down, Parker carries him into the classroom with her hands on his upper torso.
When they get into the class, the boy tries to leave the room. Parker uses her body to block the door. The boy sits on a mat with other children, then goes to stand at a table. After a few minutes, Parker and the children leave the classroom.
The video shows “a very passive Miss Parker putting up with a rambunctious child,” Brown said.