A report of abuse at the Taylor Independent School District's Child Development Center has led to the arrest of an employee of the center.
An employee at the center reported to police Friday, May 17, that a co-worker, Mikelean Griffith, 67, of Hutto, had abused a child at the center.
According to police reports, a child care provider came to the Taylor Police Department and told officers that a co-worker at the Taylor ISD Child Development Center was involved in the abuse of a child there.
The witness told police that earlier that day Griffith pinned a two-year-old boy to a mat on the floor when the child resisted taking a nap. Griffith held the child to the mat placing her knee in the center of the child's back while both of her hands were on child's shoulders, near his neck.
Griffith transferred her body weight onto the child’s back.
"She used her body weight, her knee and her hands to restrain a two-year old child who was being uncooperative and didn't want to take a nap," said Taylor Police Commander Joseph Branson. "This co-worker saw this as excessive and came and told police."
The witness told police that Griffith’s actions were abusive and caused the child to scream and cry loudly.
Police do not believe the abuse lasted a long time, but it was reported.
Branson said the co-worker told a supervisor and told police about the incident. Police do not believe any other children were abused.
"There is no indication that this happened to anyone else," Branson said.
The child’s parents observed a red mark on their son’s back that was not there before the day of the incident. They took the child to his family physician where he was treated and released.
“Taylor Independent School District has been made aware that certain Child Development Center employees violated District policies. Allegations have also been made by local law enforcement that laws may have been broken,” Taylor ISD Superintendent Keith Brown said in a statement released by the school Thursday evening.
While the district cannot comment on personnel matters, Brown said the individuals involved are no longer employees of Taylor ISD.
“Taylor ISD values the safety and well-being of each of its students and is conducting its own investigation into the CDC allegations to ensure that each child in its care has the opportunity to succeed,” he said.
The Taylor Police Department completed its investigation and consulted with both the Williamson County District Attorney’s Office (who prosecutes felony cases) as well as the Williamson County Attorney’s Office (who prosecutes misdemeanor cases). After the case review with the prosecutors it was determined that the Taylor Police Detectives had probable cause to obtain an arrest warrant for Griffith, who is charged with injury to a child, a state jail felony.
Griffith surrendered herself and was taken into custody May 30 and booked into the Williamson County Jail with a bond of $2,500.
If convicted, Griffith could face up to 180 days to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.