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Christian Private School Founder Pleads Guilty To Beating, Choking Students

Video evidence that allegedly depicted Linda McLean abusing students at Favor Christian Academy in Thomasville, Georgia, will not be shown because she pleaded guilty before the jury even took their seats.

By Eric Shorey

The founder of a Christian private school in Georgia has admitted to beating and choking multiple students.

Linda McLean, the founder and director of Favor Christian Academy in Thomasville, Georgia, pleaded guilty Tuesday to nine counts of first-degree child cruelty against her students. McLean had been indicted on eight charges, including 11 counts of first-degree child cruelty and four counts of aggravated assault on Aug 10, 2018. McLean was found to have physically attacked several students — in one instance instructing a student to hold their classmate down while she struck them with a yard stick.

McLean cried in court as she admitted to the several accusations made against her stemming from incidents that occurred in 2016 and 2015. In one, McLean was accused of striking a child with a ruler repeatedly. In another, she was accused of grabbing and child and shaking her, according to the Thomasville Times-Enterprise. McLean was also accused of hitting a student with a belt and twisting a child's neck, throwing books at students, and choking them, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The trial was expected to last several days, with more than a dozen witnesses willing and waiting to testify against McLean, but McLean pleaded guilty before the jury even took their seats, according WCTV-TV of Thomasville, Georgia. Video evidence of the attacks were not used as evidence due to the speedy plea.

McLean potentially faces 20 years in prison for each count on which she has pleaded guilty, totaling to a maximum of 180 years. Her pleas may be withdrawn any time before sentencing.

McLean has been released on a $50,000 bond and has relocated to Atlanta, Georgia.