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Thomasville school administrator accused of choking child

Linda McLean
Linda McLean(WCTV)
Published: Sep. 23, 2016 at 5:06 PM EDT
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UPDATE 9-28-16

By: James Buechele

Thomasville, GA

Brenda Martin's son, Bryndan, 10, goes to Favor Christian Academy.

They were two of dozens outside the school Thursday praying for its founder Linda McLean. The 66-year old was arrested earlier this month on a child cruelty charge.

"Bryndan has excelled in ways that I can't even sometimes imagine," said Brenda.

"I came out to the vigil today to pray for Ms. McLean and help her get out of her situation and have faith in God," said Bryndan.

Despite McLean's arrest, Brenda says the K-6 school has done wonders for the city of Thomasville. Students are set to return here after Fall Break on Monday and parents say the school is expected to get back to normal.

"I still believe that she's going to be still here. I still believe that the children are going to come. I still believe that it's going to be the normal everyday," added Brenda.

As for 5th grader Bryndan, he says he's looking forward to returning to class on Monday.

"It's a blessing to be here like you can't learn about this stuff in public schools."


By: Alicia Turner

September 26, 2016

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) -- A Thomasville woman is now out on bond, after being arrested for allegedly abusing a child.

66-year-old Linda McLean is the director and founder of the Favor Christian Academy in Thomasville. Authorities are now releasing more details about what they believed happened.

We now know the victim in this alleged incident was an 11-year-old student at Favor Christian Academy. Many in the community are outraged that something like this could happen.

Unlike a usual Monday, the doors are shut, and the school is quiet at Favors Christian Academy. Signs are posted on the school that say the students are out for fall break. It’s coming one week earlier than the rest of the students in the city and the county; following McLean’s arrest.

"You can whip a child but there's a difference between whipping a child and beating one," said Mary Miller, a Thomas County resident.

The abuse was reported by a fellow teacher at the school.

According to the incident report, McLean is also accused of choking the victim. The report goes on to say that McLean told the child she would "choke the life out of her" in front of more than a dozen other students.

“If that was my child and somebody choked it, yeah, that would be abuse,” said James Wright, as he reacted to the incident.

Favors Christian Academy is a private school. It serves children kindergarten through eighth grade. The Thomasville Police Department explained that Georgia law does allow corporal punishment. But Police Captain Maurice Holmes says this is a case where it went too far.

"Teachers do fall under that umbrella, as long as they receive permission from the parent. But, there is still a fine line; and if you go over that line and that corporal punishment turns into abuse or assault, then criminal charges will be applied," Holmes said.

The Thomasville Police Department said the case is ongoing, and that more charges for McLean could be on the way.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News

September 23, 2016

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) -- An administrator at a Thomasville school is accused of child cruelty.

Dr. Linda McLean, the founder and administrator of Favor Christian Academy, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of felony cruelty to children.

The Thomasville Police Department says an investigation was launched after they received an allegation of assault on a child. Investigators gathered evidence that lead to McLean's arrest.

McLean bonded out of jail on Friday.

Thomasville Police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are asking for assistance from the community in this case. Anyone with information about the alleged assault is asked to call police.

Stay with WCTV for the latest on this case.