ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A St. Petersburg preschool teacher was arrested for child abuse on a 3-year-old student.
According to the arrest report, the 3-year-old victim’s parents noticed bruising on the child’s arms and similar bruises in February, but believed they were caused by another child at the time.
When the mother and father asked the boy about the bruises, he told them Cynthia Foster, 57, squeezed his arm tightly giving him bruises and making him cry. The child also told his parents Foster shook him violently.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies interviewed several other children in the class who told them that they witnessed the abuse.
According to the report, the abuse was the result of the child fighting, not wanting to nap during nap time, wetting the bed during nap time, or refusing to stay quiet during book reading.
At least one other teacher at the school also witnessed Foster’s actions and reported what she saw to the principal.
The school issued a statement saying in part: “St. Pete Christian is committed to the safety of all our children. Consequently, ALL preschool personnel undergoes background screening as mandated by Florida law. The former St. Petersburg Christian Preschool employee had indeed undergone and passed a Level 2 background check by DCF.”
Foster has no prior criminal history in Pinellas county.
The school terminated her employment after her arrest.