WILMINGTON — Last week, allegations of child abuse against at least one staff member at the Wildwood Early Education Center were reported.
The allegations first came to light following social media posts from the parent of one of the alleged victims, who reportedly was picked up from school with numerous bruises on his legs. The parent stated that he had also heard of another child in a similar situation.
According to the school’s website, the Wildwood Early Education Center serves preschool and kindergarten students, providing a range of special education and support services including speech, occupational and physical therapy, as well as reading support.
Following the report of alleged abuse, the district followed protocol and alerted the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and local law enforcement to investigate. The staff member in question traditionally is placed on administrative leave, out of contact with students, until the investigation is completed.
On May 4, Wildwood Principal Charlotte King sent a notice to parents alerting them of the situation. In the statement, she outlined the school’s plans going forward. Currently, King noted that as a precautionary measure, immediate staff in the classroom connected to the allegations have been temporarily relieved.
King could not be reached for further comment.
Wilmington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand released a response to the Wilmington Public Schools’ community on May 5. Though unable to respond to specific allegations on social media due to the ongoing investigation and laws surrounding employee confidentiality, the statement assured that the district’s primary concern is set on assuring the safety of students, as well as outlining next steps in handling the issue.
“In the event that any such allegation of abuse, neglect or mistreatment were to be substantiated either by law enforcement authorities or through the district’s investigation, the district would take immediate and decisive action to address and to prevent recurrence of any such misconduct,” Brand said. “Our students’ health, safety, and well-being is our number one priority. We will continue to work with the local authorities and our students’ families to keep our kids safe in our schools.”
Brian Pupa, Deputy Police Chief at the Wilmington Police Department confirmed in The Lowell Sun that the department is working with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office to further investigate the claims. Officials from the Department of Children and Families have also confirmed that an investigation is ongoing.
Charges have not been filed in connection to the alleged abuse at the time of reporting.