A teacher at the Goddard School outside Dale City is accused of biting a 13-month-old boy, and the day care franchise owner has been charged with failing to report the assault to authorities.
Theresa Elaine Brown, 24, of the 15000 block of Traverser Court in Woodbridge was arrested Friday for the Sept. 11 biting incident at the school on Staples Mill Road, near the intersection of Minnieville and Spriggs roads.
Brown has a long list of criminal charges in Prince William County, and under Virginia law, may not have been eligible to be a state-licensed day care employee.
The center’s owner, Nadia Maqsood Choudry, also 24, of the 6600 block of Olga Lane in Manassas, was charged with failure to report child abuse or neglect, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.
Police say that on Sept. 11 Brown bit the toddler after he bit another teacher. The bite left a mark on the child’s shoulder.
A witness immediately reported the incident to school administrators, but Choudhry “informed the reporting staff member to not report the incident to authorities,” Perok said.
Under Virginia law, day care workers, teachers and health professionals and others are required to report suspected abuse and neglect to social services.
Perok said the incident was anonymously reported to Prince William Child Protective Services on Sept. 12. Social services in turn reported it to police.
Brown has a long history of criminal charges in Prince William, including a pending court date for felony larceny as a third offense, according to court records. In Virginia, day care providers must sign a disclosure saying if they are convicted of or charged with any pending criminal offenses.
A March 20 Virginia Department of Social Services inspection of the Goddard School at Staples Mills cited the facility for not having an updated sworn disclosure statement for one employee.
It’s unclear why Brown was employed despite her record, which includes charges of larceny, embezzlement, grand larceny, resisting arrest, assault and driving on a revoked license, court records show
The day care is one of two Goddard School franchises in Prince William County.
The allegations come less than a year after two employees at the Minnieland at the Glenn outside Lake Ridge were charged with 96 counts of abusing children in a toddler class. Their cases are pending in Prince William Circuit Court.
In the Minnieland case, the Virginia Department of Social Services investigation revealed that other staff at Minnieland at the Glen witnessed two teachers hitting, biting and otherwise mistreating a class of toddlers for almost six months. No one did anything to stop it, even though state law mandates that child-care workers report any suspected abuse or neglect. Finally, another teacher took her concerns to Minnieland’s corporate office and the state began an investigation.