Goddard School Teacher, Owner Charged After Teacher Allegedly Bit Toddler: PD | NBC4 Washington

Julie Carey, David Culver and the News4 team covering where you live

Goddard School Teacher, Owner Charged After Teacher Allegedly Bit Toddler: PD

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    News 4's Kristin Wright reports on the charges against a Prince William County pre-school teacher accused of biting a child in her care. (Published Monday, Sept. 22, 2014)

    A teacher at a Goddard School location in Prince William County, Virginia, was arrested along with the center's owner following allegations that the teacher bit a toddler in her care.

    Prince William County police say 24-year-old Theresa Elaine Brown bit a 13-month-old boy at the Woodbridge school after the boy bit another teacher on Sept. 11. The bite left a mark on the boy's shoulder.

    A witness reported the incident to management, but the owner of the school, identified by police as Nadia Maqsood Choudhry, also 24, failed to report it to Child Protective Services. According to police, Choudhry went on to tell the staff member who reported the incident not to report it to authorities.

    Employees at childcare facilities, schools and healthcare centers are required by state law to report allegations of child abuse and neglect to Child Protective Services. 

    The battery was reported the next day anonymously.

    Both women were charged in connection with the event Friday.

    Police say Brown was charged with assault and battery, while Choudhry was charged with failure to report child abuse or neglect.

    Brown told News4's Kristin Wright she didn't bite the student and she believes another child did it.

    Brown -- arrested in the past on assault, forgery and stealing charges -- signed a sworn affidavit saying she did not have a criminal record, according to Goddard. Her background check was still being processed more than six weeks after she began working at the school, but she worked under the condition she couldn't be alone with the children.

    The school's director fired Brown upon learning of the accusation, according to a statement from the school. Choudhry is no longer at the school either.

    "We are reviewing all of our new-hire documentation and background checks to ensure we are fully compliant with Virginia law and to verify we are implementing best hiring practices," the statement said. "Additionally, we will, very soon, be conducting mandatory reporting protocol training for our entire management team and faculty."

    Goddard Schools are individually owned-and-operated early childhood education franchises of Goddard Systems, Inc.