SHERWOOD, Ark.—An investigation is underway at a Sherwood daycare after a teacher was arrested for 2nd degree battery.
The investigation was launched after a mother notified police that her two-year-old came home from the Sylvan United Methodist Early Learning Center with marks all over his body.
The facility is located at 9921 AR-107 in Sherwood.
“He had adult size fingernail marks underneath both of his arms,” said Chelsea Jahnke.
Jahnke shared pictures of red marks and bruises on her child’s shoulders, arms, and sides to her social media.
“I can’t even imagine how hard you would have to squeeze for that to happen,” said Jahnke.
The mother says her toddler came home at the beginning of the school year, scared to go back the next day, after he told her he was pinched and grabbed by his teacher at the Early Learning Center.
“Once I saw the marks and I asked him what happened and he had the same story again that she pinched me,” recalled Jahnke.
Jahnke asked the school’s director to move her child to a different class, which she says did not happen until her son came home a second time crying with new marks.
“He told me it’s because he would not stay on his mat and the second time was because he needed to go to the bathroom and he wouldn’t stay on his mat,” Jahnke said referencing a discussion with her child.
The toddler’s mother says she reported the incidents to authorities and Sherwood Police launched an investigation. Two months later, the child’s teacher Kimberly Havniear, was arrested in October.
“It is absolutely heartbreaking to know that your child is being hurt and to know that he’s probably not the only one,” said Jahnke.
Sylvan Hills United Methodist sent a statement reading in part: “We have relied heavily on DHS and law enforcement to conduct their investigation, and we are being completely cooperative.
“Find a different job if you don’t want to work with kids and they frustrate you that badly,” Jahnke concluded.
She says they have since found a new daycare after Havniear’s arrest.
A spokesperson for DHS says the facility is under investigation for additional child abuse allegations involving a different employee.
We will continue to follow this story as it develops.