• Teacher fired amid abuse allegations at Reading school


    READING (MyFoxBoston.com) -- An early-education teacher has been fired following abuse allegations at a school in Reading.

    The Department of Early Education and Care said they received notice from the Goddard School about alleged abuse of a child by one of the school's educators. The teacher was not identified.

    Officials at the DEEC said they were investigating to determine if further action needed to be taken.

    Sarah Blumenstock Girrell, the owner of the Goddard School, told FOX 25's Heather Hegedus that she could not offer many details due to a gag order, but she did say that back in December, one of the teachers made a "poor choice of discipline" and that teacher was immediately fired.

    "I love my kids, I love my parents. I don't want them to be worried. We terminated the employee the same day [of the alleged incident]. We are cooperating completely with authorities. And our teachers are never unattended. We operate on a co-teacher system," Girrell said while fighting back tears.

    The exact type of discipline is still being kept under wraps; however, Gin Schaffer, who has two students at the school, claims the school has been open with parents who want to know more and that the punishment could be deemed as antiquated in this day and age.

    FOX 25 spoke with about a dozen parents on Tuesday who say they are still comfortable sending their children to the Goddard School and that they are happy with the school.

    Parents also said that the child wasn't physically harmed.

    In a statement, a spokesperson for the Goddard Schools franchiser said that the school is fully cooperating with local officials in regards to the allegations levied against the teacher.

    "Our first priority, every day, is to ensure the safety and well-being of the children in our schools. The teacher involved is no longer employed at our school. The Goddard Schools are dedicated to creating a safe and nurturing environment by consistently implementing best practices in hiring, background checks and overall faculty training and development."

    The Goddard School advertises teachers who follow the highest standards in early childhood development. On its website, the Goddard School says that it has been open since 2010 and has programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners and school-age children.

    Police in Reading said there has not been a police report related to this and that they are only required to report it if there is an alleged assault involved.

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