Smyrna >Meg's Playhouse & Preschool
Abuse...here is the Channel 5 news article.
By Brent Frazier
SMYRNA, Tenn. – The owner of a daycare that's under investigation, amid claims of child abuse, voluntarily shut down the site late last week. But this isn't the first time her daycare has been the scene of a criminal investigation.
Debbie Reyes agreed to padlock the door of Meg's Play-House and Pre-School in Smyrna, only days after four of her own employees were arrested, including the daycare's director.
But Reyes still has three other sites to lean on: one in Rutherford County; another in Sumner County; and a second site, Rock Springs Academy, within the city limits of Smyrna.
That Rock Springs site is where a daycare employee was arrested one year ago, on child abuse charges. According to Sgt. Bobby Gibson, with Smyrna Police, Julia M. McClure, of Murfreesboro, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. Gibson said McClure agreed to a sentence of four years' probation, anger management training, and a permanent ban from ever working around children again.
Smyrna authorities also arrested Kim Rife, the director at Meg's Playhouse and Preschool on Old Nashville Highway, two weeks ago. Rife is charged with felony child abuse after, according to investigators, slamming a 4-year-old boy to a desktop in the daycare's front office. Rife is also accused of deleting at least a 4-minute segment of video on the front office's surveillance camera that reportedly captured the alleged attack on the child.
On April 27, Murfreesboro Police arrested Samantha Kranzke, 21, of LaVergne, and charged her with statutory rape. Kranzke's accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old, unrelated to the Rock Springs Academy where she worked.
Some parents who contacted NewsChannel 5 are wondering if owner Debbie Reyes is conducting appropriate background checks, on prospective hires, as required by law. Reyes did not return NewsChannel 5's repeated phone calls on Monday.
The department of human services said background checks are required, by State statute, for any person seeking employment in the childcare field. A spokesman said not only are the background checks quite thorough, it would be nearly impossible for a daycare owner, such as Reyes, to circumvent the process.
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