Indictment: School administrator choked, shook, whipped students

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By: Alicia Turner | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 2, 2017

Linda McLean

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) -- The doors at Favor Christian Academy in Thomasville are closed for the summer, but in just two weeks students will fill the hallways.

"I knew she could be a little strict, but I never thought she would take it this far."

One man explained that in light of recent events, he did not want to show his face or give his name; but he says during his time at the school, he was no stranger to being hit and beat my Mrs. McLean.

"She is very old school, and doesn't realize it's as bad as it is. I believe when children make complaints, the parents should look into it more than they do."

He said he believes the abuse has gone on for so long because of McLean’s impact in the community.

"Somebody not having anybody looking down on them, no pressure on them, they can get loose with their authority. Loose with their power. If nobody is ever looking in on them to make sure they're doing the right thing, make sure they're not going too far with it."

What most people don't get, he said, is how abuse can impact children well into their adult life.

"It’s long term effect. People might not see right now, but they'll still linger with them when they're older. Trust issues and authority issues with teachers, taking them awhile to get a new teacher, and trying to figure them out."

Long term effects that could result in long term consequences for McLean.

Despite the indictment, Favor Christian Academy is still preparing to open and operate as usual for the next school year, starting August 14.

By: Edan Schultz | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 2, 2017

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) – An administrator at a private school in Thomasville is accused of violently shaking students, repeatedly whipping them with belts and rulers, and slamming their heads into tables.

The allegations come in a 15-count grand jury indictment handed down in July against Linda McLean. She’s the founder and director of Favor Christian Academy.

The indictment includes allegations involving eight children, with the incidents happening in May, August and September of 2016. Charges include simple battery, first degree cruelty to children, simple assault and aggravated assault.

In one instance, the indictment alleges McLean grabbed a child by the throat and pushed him into furniture, pinning him down. McLean is also accused of whipping a child repeatedly with a belt in the lunchroom in front of other students.

In another instance, charges allege she ordered fellow students to pin a child across a chair with his pants down while she whipped him.

McLean was first arrested in September 2016 on one count of cruelty to children. She remains free on bond.

A call to Favor Christian Academy seeking comment was not returned.

The academy is a private school in Thomasville, serving children in kindergarten through eighth grade.

According to its website, McLean founded the school 17 years ago, after previously teaching in Atlanta and Macon.

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