A South Carolina daycare owner is facing assault charges after a child reported being hit with a wooden paddle nicknamed “Bob.”
Margaret Sue Tennis, the director and owner of the Carousel of Learning daycare in Pickens, was arrested Tuesday after allegedly hitting a 4-year-old boy with the paddle, the Greenville News reported. The child was left with a red backside after the alleged incident on May 15, according to his mother Angel Taylor.
“I had no idea they did this. Why wouldn’t someone tell parents that this happens? I want other parents to be aware,” Taylor, whose five children had all attended the daycare, told Fox Carolina.
Taylor’s 11-year-old daughter reported being aware of the paddle, which she described as green with yellow polka dots and having the word “Bob” written on it.
A Carousel of Learning employee and Tennis’ husband both denied the allegations, with Tennis’ husband claiming the paddle is just a wooden paint mixer stick.
“They are false allegations and that’s the only comment I have,” an employee told Oxygen.com. The employee gave her name as Alicia but declined to provide a last name or specify her position at Carousel of Learning.
Another parent whose child attended Tennis’ daycare went to the police Tuesday with suspicions that her child was also being abused, Fox Carolina reported. She picked up her child from Carousel of Learning the day before and found inexplicable bruises and scratches on his body, according to a police report.
The women’s other children, who often begged not to go to daycare because “Ms. Sue is mean to them,” told her that they’d seen Tennis push the child, police said. While taking photographs of the boy’s injuries, police noticed a scratch on his head and marks on his legs, but concluded that the marks on his legs appeared to be irritated insect bites.
The Department of Social Services is investigating.
[Photo: Pickens Detention Center]