LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — Two arrests have been made in connection with a child-care center abuse case in Prince William County.
Kierra Nicole Spriggs, 24, and Sarah Jordan, 29, are both charged with two counts of cruelty or injury to a child and two counts of assault and battery. Court dates have not been set for either of the women.
According to a state agency report released last week, the teachers at Minnieland Academy at The Glen in Woodbridge routinely engaged in cruel treatment of toddlers in their care, including stepping on their toes, giving full pressure sprays from a water hose and feeding them Flaming Hot Cheetos.
Prince William County Police are now handling the investigation, but the Virginia Department of Social Services first investigated the situation following a complaint.
Their report says the two staffers encouraged fights among the toddlers in their care and dunked children known to be scared of water into wading pools. The staffers laughed about feeding kids Flaming Hot Cheetos and watching their cheeks turn red after eating them, the report said. Toddlers with soiled diapers were told to go away because they stink, it added.
Minnieland said it fired the teachers and that other staffers who were aware of the mistreatment but failed to report it are no longer with the company.
“Minnieland Academy deeply regrets this incident occurred at our center and sincerely apologizes for any harm that resulted from these offences,” the company said in a statement. The Woodbridge-based company operates more than 100 licensed facilities throughout Virginia, predominantly in northern Virginia.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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