PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - A Palm Beach County Head Start teacher is facing child abuse charges Wednesday night. She's accused of locking a preschooler in a school bathroom for more than an hour.
Dorothy Kelly was arrested Sunday. Investigators say she repeatedly locked a 4-year-old girl in the bathroom and shut the lights off at the Palm Beach County Head Start Center.
Police say surveillance video taken in January shows Kelly locked the little girl in the bathroom for an hour and a half on one occasion and nearly an hour a second time.
According to the West Palm Beach Police Department, the little girl was also pinched on her legs by Kelly.
Police say Kelly told them the little girl kicked her, bit her, scratched and spit on her repeatedly. "There is no excuse, and in no circumstance is it permissible to not only lock a child in a bathroom for extended periods of time but to abuse them," said Hector Rivera, Dorothy Kelly's attorney.
"Initially, when you're dealing with a child, the answer is probably, 'No,' but there might have been justifications that I'm not aware of yet. I want to see the video. I want to see what evidence they have. I want to talk to witnesses," said Hector Rivera, Kelly's attorney. "I want my client to see that video, so she can elaborate and better explain to me, so I can understand."
We tried to see the video, but the victim's family declined to release it to us.
Head Start does have a policy that says the bathroom door must be propped open when a child is inside.
Both attorney's wouldn't let us speak to their clients.
Kelly has worked for the county for more than 10 years. We asked her supervisor if she's had any disciplinary issues, and he responded by telling us not anything significant.