The allegations against Sherilyn Fulton, child care worker at the Mary C. Jones Child Development Center in Jackson, are stunning. Two weeks ago, 3 On Your Side interviewed a temporary worker who worked at the center for three days, but says she spent just one day in Fulton's classroom.
"These were little bitty children. She was hitting them with closed fists. Threatening them," the worker told us. "She literally would pinch them, real hard, they would scream in pain."
The worker, who asked not to be identified, also told us Fulton served the children milk at lunchtime, but threatened them not to drink it so the children wouldn't need to use the restroom.
When the investigation was launched in late April, Fulton was put on paid administrative leave.
Wednesday morning, we sat down with Louis Armstrong, Deputy Director of the City of Jackson Department of Human & Cultural Services, which runs the three city-run child care centers.
"We have come to a conclusion on our findings (on Fulton) and have made a recommendation to the personnel department," Armstrong says, but he would not reveal what that recommendation is because it's a personnel matter.
3 On Your Side did some digging and found several substantiated claims of harsh treatment of children at the Mary C. Jones Center in the past year.
In June 2011, a toddler's teacher threw a crying two year old child down on a cot. The investigation revealed the teacher "used aggressive force when she threw (the child) down on a cot during naptime because he kept trying to get off the cot", according to documents furnished to us by the Mississippi Department of Health.
That teacher subsequently resigned.
On June 30, 2011, during a walkthrough of the center by representatives from the Health Department, a teacher was observed "using abusive language and threatening punishment to a class in the hallway." A monetary penalty was imposed.
Also during that walkthrough, "a volunteer was observed left alone with children." Again, a monetary penalty was imposed.
On January 12, 2012, a visiting social worker found a four year old child alone on the sidewalk. No one inside the center knew she had wondered off. In light of that, two employees were suspended for 15 days.
"I've been in this position one year, have had an opportunity to assess what was going on up there. We certainly feel like there was a need to make some changes. We're making those changes," Armstrong says. "The experience has prompted the city to start the process of including monitors in each classroom so we can monitor, video monitor from a central location what is going on in the classroom."
The Jackson City Council will soon be asked to approve funding for a surveillance monitoring system for the classrooms at each of the city-run facilities.
Also, beginning last year, newly hired teachers at the centers have to have a four-year degree in child care or an acceptable equivalent. Current employees may be grandfathered in.
Along with the Mary C. Jones Child Development Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, the City of Jackson also runs the Westside CDC and the Virden CDC. They're designed for children ages six weeks to kindergarten age. Parents pay according to their income. Armstrong says very few municipalities offer such a service, and it's invaluable to working families in Jackson.
Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.A witness told police that the four girls, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, had been in the same dirtyMore >>
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:21 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:21:00 GMT
Jackson Police are investigating a homicide in west Jackson Monday after a body was discovered inside a residence on Arbor Vista Boulevard. According to Officer Colendula Green with JPD, officers haveMore >>
Jackson police have released the identity of the man found dead in a west Jackson house Monday morning.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:34 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:34:41 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains were mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:36 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:36:49 GMT
(RNN) – A day after long track tornadoes devastated Shawnee and Edmond, OK, another round has begun near Oklahoma City.KOCO broadcast a slow rotating cloud that slowly extended down towards the groundMore >>
Dozens of people have died after a second day of tornadoes twisted through Oklahoma, this time taking aim at the town of Moore, south of Oklahoma City.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:15 AM EDT2013-05-21 15:15:53 GMT
Residents in tornado-stricken Moore, OK, await news on missing love ones Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado devastated the city, killing at least 51. Rescuers worked all night, with particular attentionMore >>
A medical examiner's office spokeswoman said 24 deceased victims from the Moore, OK, tornado had been transported to their Oklahoma City office. Seven of the dead were children.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-05-21 01:37:07 GMT
A body discovered in Clinton Saturday night has led to a homicide investigation. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart confirms a body was discovered, although few other details are known. The bodyMore >>
Clinton Police Department's Interim Chief Mike Warren said upon further investigation, it appears a disagreement over a woman may have led to the death of a Jackson man.
Monday, May 20 2013 2:26 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:26:49 GMT
Hinds County sheriff's deputies seized five pounds of marijuana and made two arrests as the result of a three-month investigation. Sheriff's office officials say the northeast Jackson investigation isMore >>
Hinds County sheriff's deputies seized five pounds of marijuana and made two arrests as the result of a three-month investigation.More >>
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >>
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 12:10 PM EDT2013-05-20 16:10:06 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president. "It's more than just me representingMore >>
Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president.
So when the school started planning for the commencement, Flake said she was shocked to find out that she was not among those chosen to speak.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201