The Riverfront Child Care Learning Lab in Beloit cared for the children of teenaged parents while they were at school. That was until allegations of child abuse surfaced.
"It's something that we can't put up with." According to the Beloit School District's Superintendent, Milton Thompson, during the 2008-2009 academic year someone accused staff at the Riverfront Child Care Learning Lab of child abuse.
The accusations ranged from the mild, Thompson says, "Someone taking a paper towel roll and swatting a student on the bottom." To the more extreme, "Children being picked up by the back of the neck like kittens."
But Thompson didn't find out about the issue until early June. One week after he took over as superintendent. " To be honest with you something should have been done immediately."
Thompson calls the accusations "intolerable." He says those who are possibly responsible for the abuse are still on the pay roll. But, if the accusations are true they won't be. "There will be consequences for that."
Despite the allegations the district wants to continue the program. Although not at the same building. They're considering moving it back here to Beloit Memorial High School. Thompson says, "Our intent was not to leave our students out on a lurch. Instead we can do better."
And if they plan on doing better they'll have to hurry because the next academic year is coming up.
Thompson says the district is considering other ideas to keep the program alive as well. Like using a private day care provider. But nothing is set for the 2009-2010 school year.