NJ nursery school fires employee accused of slapping toddler
MANCHESTER — An attorney for a private child care center in Ocean County said that a teacher accused of slapping a 2-year-old girl has been fired.
Amanda Goldfarb, a parent of a child who attends the Hilltop Nursery School on Route 37, posted on her Facebook page this week that she witnessed a teacher named "Miss Linda" in the "purple room ... kneeling down, yelling at a child and slapping her face."
Goldfarb said the slap was not extremely violent but she was "frustrated and trying to get the little girl's attention."
Goldfarb was not the parent of the child who was slapped.
Goldfarb said she called the NJ Abuse Hotline and spoke with a social worker from Child Protective Services and notified Manchester police. She also said that she was able to contact the parent of the child.
In a statement obtained by Jersey Shore Online, school attorney Robert W. Allen said the incident was "unacceptable" and that the teacher was fired after an investigation.
"We regret that the incident took place and want to assure all of our families that our students’ safety and well-being remains our utmost concern," Allen's letter said.
According to a sign on the building, the school has been in business since 1973.
A review of Hilltop's record with the state Department of Child and Families showed the school was inspected in October. It was re-inspected in November, December and January to follow up on several violations including:
- Not providing annual orientation to all newly hired and existing staff on safety procedures including recognizing child abuse and neglect, preventing shaken baby syndrome and head trauma, understanding disciplinary policy, and what to do in the event of medical emergencies.
- Not labeling bottles and sipping cups with a child's name.
- Not ensuring that staff and children wash their hands.
- Not washing and disinfecting toilet training chairs, potty seats, diapering surfaces, toys mouthed by infants and toddlers, mats and sleeping equipment and sheets, and eating tables.
- Not storing epi-pens in their original boxes.
- Not maintaining permission slips for trips.
Hilltop was found to be in full compliance in January and issued a license renewal on Feb. 11, state records show.
Goldfarb, police and the school did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.