A federal investigation of the Head Start Program in Prince George's County, Maryland, found disturbing results of alleged child abuse.
Federal funding of the Head Start Program has been suspended after an investigation found that a 3-year-old had been forced to mop up his own urine, preschoolers were forced to hold heavy books over their heads as punishment, and a 5-year-old walked home alone.
The reports of child abuse led to a loss of over $6 million in federal funding for the county.
The incidents all took place at separate elementary schools throughout the county between December 2015 and June 2016.
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At Winship Wheatley Early Childhood Center, a 3-year-old student was punished and humiliated in front of his classmates after he had an accident during nap time. The child was forced by the teacher to mop up his own urine in front of the class while still wearing his wet clothes.
The teacher took a photo and sent them to the child's parent, with a text message saying, "LOL."
Another text message read, "He worked that mop tho."
The investigation also found that preschoolers at James Ryder Randall Elementary School Head Start Center were forced to hold heavy books over their heads as a form of punishment. If they couldn't hold the books up for the entire time the teacher requested, they would have to start over.
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In June, a 5-year-old student walked home alone from Langley Park McCormick Elementary School after leaving the nurse's office to find an empty classroom. The child left the building unnoticed and walked home.
According to the report, school officials "refused" to share documents detailing their policies and procedures when asked by federal investigators.