Today, we received a report from the Palm Beach County Department of Health regarding an incident that occurred several months ago. While we are still reviewing the report, we have noted a number of inaccuracies in it. We will communicate with the Department to attempt to correct these errors.
On July 27, 2017, an incident occurred at our Royal Palm Beach location involving a teacher and one of our students. In the process of clearing food from the mouth of a choking student, the teacher pinched the cheeks of the child. This one-time interaction was recorded on TKAP’s security cameras and resulted in temporary bruising. In two subsequent interactions with the child’s mother, I was grateful to hear that the child was well, both physically and emotionally.
However, this interaction was not consistent with the safety and security standards that we have upheld during the more than nine years that The King’s Academy Preschool has operated—without any negative inspection or finding. It was also not consistent with the teacher’s performance during her 2½ years of employment—without a single complaint. This interaction was certainly not normal practice for a TKAP employee and was not in line with the standard of excellence we expect at The King’s Academy Preschool. As a result, the employees involved in the incident are no longer employed by The King’s Academy Preschool.
When the school’s administration was notified, we reviewed the video of the incident and self-reported the incident to the Florida Department of Children and Families and informed the child’s parents. We have fully cooperated with authorities investigating this matter including DCF, the Palm Beach County Department of Health, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. We have also provided copies of the video of the incident to DCF and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Additionally, we regularly evaluate and improve TKAP’s policies and procedures and enhance training for our faculty and staff. We remain committed to providing quality care and education for families in Palm Beach County."
WPTV was able to speak with the Teacher's assistant who was also fired. She said she was in the room and remembered the child crying while being fed, but did not remember what force the teacher may have been using. She never said the child was choking.