2 preschool workers charged after parent saw abuse on video

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ROSWELL, Ga. (AP) — Two preschool teachers in suburban Atlanta have been charged with child cruelty after parents alleged they witnessed the teachers physically assaulting children on live video from the classroom.

Roswell police told local media on Wednesday they were asking the public for more information about the incidents involving Zeina Alostwani, 40, and Soriana Briceno, 19.

The two taught toddlers in a classroom for Parker-Chase Preschool in the northern suburbs of Atlanta.

Warrants obtained by WXIA-TV state that Briceno pushed a 2-year-old child to the front. According to police, the video also shows Alostwani standing on the hand of a 3-year-old, then kneeling the 2-year-old behind his back.


A mother watching a video earlier in June said she saw the abuse. She and her husband told the media that they went to the school to report the abuse. The police were then called.

“It doesn’t matter who it is,” Brant Duncan told WSB-TV. “He’s a child. They are helpless. They are defenseless.

The women were arrested on Monday. Aalstwani was granted $75,000 bail on Tuesday and was released on Wednesday, while Briceno was denied bail due to his immigration status. It is unclear whether either have attorneys representing them.

Several other parents have reported abuse since the arrests. Police said they are reviewing the video for other cases.

The owner of the nursery school, Endeavor Schools, told parents he fired the women for “improper disciplinary action”.

“We expect our staff to uphold the highest standards of care, and any failure to do so will not be tolerated,” Endeavor said.

Georgia’s Ministry of Early Care and Learning is investigating “allegations of improper discipline”, spokesman Reg Griffin said. Endeavor said child protection authorities were also called.

A teacher who wrote a statement given to police said Aalstwani and Briceno had a history of abusive behavior, including yelling, pinching and ear-picking.

“Whenever a child didn’t listen or follow instructions, Zeina would get in the child’s face and yell at him, pinch his cheeks, arms, nose, pull his ears, she would sometimes pick them up and place them back with great force on the mat. Soriana would do some of the same actions as Zeina, but at a different time,” the warrant reads, citing the statement.

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