BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. – A Bradford County preschool employee heard threatening a student in a video now faces a child abuse charge.
Courtney Jones was arrested on Monday.
”Stop pulling,” a child can be heard saying to Jones in a video obtained by News4JAX.
“Well, when I tell you to come in, don’t pull away from me. Boy, I’ll put my hand right around your neck and choke slam you,” Jones replies.
The video was recorded by a different employee of Bradford Preschool and Learning Center in August, according to a warrant. The boy’s mother, Taylor Williams, said her son Zachariah was 4 years old at the time and is relieved to hear about the arrest. News4JAX spoke with Williams last month after DCF temporarily suspended the daycare’s license.
“I think it’s amazing. I’m glad that they’re finally seeing it and finally doing something about it to help protect the other kids,” said Williams.
According to the warrant, the staff is accused of locking children in the side yard alone as punishment. A life-size monster doll was used to discipline and terrorize children. The warrant adds, that older kids were allowed to fight younger kids when they were misbehaving.
Jones is accused of squeezing children’s faces and threatening to staple them to their sleeping mats. Detectives questioned her 11 months before her arrest. Jones told police she was speaking to her own son in the video but confirmed the fighting allegations between older and younger kids.
On a DCF website, parents can check if their child’s care facility has any violations.
A search of Bradford Preschool and Learning Center now says ‘no data found.’
News4JAX called Jones from comment, but she didn’t pick up.
Records show Jones has a previous child neglect charge in connection to the preschool back in 2015, but that charge was dropped because the state says there wasn’t enough evidence.