By Jessie Williams
Some local parents are living their worst nightmare as they’ve recently learned their children have suffered abuse by someone they once trusted - their child’s daycare teacher.
The whole tragic situation unfolded on Wednesday, September 12, when the parents of an 18-month-old reported that their daughter came home from Works in Progress Daycare with a busted nose the day before.
They were told that another child had hit her in the face with a block, but they didn’t buy the teacher’s story based on the appearance of her injury.
According to Detective Shane Gregory, the child’s parents reported the incident to the Macon County Sheriff’s Department after requesting to see video footage from the classroom on the day their daughter was injured.
The video footage showed one of the daycare workers - 23-year-old Ashley Breann Centers - physically mistreating three children, including their daughter.
Once the parents reported the abuse to authorities, officers also watched the video.
An Affidavit of Complaint filed by one of the investigating officers states that Centers knocked two children to the floor in an aggressive and cruel manner, and kicked another child in the video footage.
All of the victims were under the age of two.
After watching the video, local authorities obtained a warrant for Centers’ arrest for three counts of aggravated child abuse and neglect.
She was arrested later the same day and, due to her bond set at a mere $10,000, she was able to bond out one hour later and be released.
The Department of Children’s Services Special Investigations Unit is also working on this case in conjunction with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.
The video surveillance hard drive was seized by authorities and will be reviewed as far back as the recordings allow.
The Chronicle has learned that Centers has worked at Works in Progress for over 3.5 years in the 18-24 month classroom. She has no prior arrest record.
Additional charges in this case are pending.
Miss Centers is scheduled to appear in Macon County General Sessions Court on October 17, 2018.
Sheriff Gammons would like to encourage any parents with additional information or questions to contact the Macon County Sheriff’s Department.