Two pre-kindergarten teachers have recently resigned after two young girls accused them of tying their hands behind their backs with zip-ties as a form of punishment in DeKalb County.
As of right now, the names of the teachers have not been released, and according to school authorities as well as investigators, there is a very thorough investigation under way.
As an Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyer and in light of the most recent story, I will focus today's post on the offense child cruelty in the state of Georgia.
Child Cruelty in Georgia
The Georgia Code divides cruelty to children in Georgia into three different degrees and defines each offense as outlined below.
- 1st Degree Cruelty to Children: When a parent, guardian, or other person supervising a child under the age of 18 willfully deprives the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child's well-being is jeopardized or when a person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. O.C.G.A. §16-5-70(a-b). First-degree cruelty to children is classified as a felony in Georgia, and the penalty can include a prison sentence of five to twenty years.
- 2nd Degree Cruelty to Children: When a person with criminal negligence causes a child less than 18 years old cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. O.C.G.A. §16-5-70(c). Second-degree cruelty to children is also classified as a felony in Georgia, and the penalty can include a prison sentence of one to ten years.
- 3rd Degree Cruelty to Children: When a person, who is the primary aggressor, intentionally allows a child under the age of 18 to witness the commission of a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery; or having knowledge that a child under the age of 18 is present and sees or hears the act, commits a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery. O.C.G.A. §16-5-70(d). Third-degree cruelty to children is classified as a misdemeanor in Georgia, and the penalty can include a jail sentence of up to 12 months and a fine of $1,000.
The case involving the two different toddlers is still under investigation. It is currently unknown whether the teachers will be facing any charges.
Both teachers have resigned from the elementary school.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact an Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney today.