AP NEWS

Pre-school workers accused of making kids stand naked

May 2, 2019

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Two workers at a southern Illinois pre-school are accused of making children stand naked in a closet as punishment.

Teacher Mary Agbehia of Edwardsville and teachers’ aide Shavonda Willis of Fairview Heights are workers at the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center in East St. Louis. The pre-school is operated by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office announced Wednesday the women are charged with felony aggravated battery for alleged physical contact with the children and unlawful restraint.

SIUE Police Chief Kevin Schmoll says investigators believe four or five children ages four and five had been told to stand naked in the closet since early February.

SIUE Human Resources Director Bob Thumith says the university hadn’t made a decision about Agbehia’s and Willis’ employment. It wasn’t immediately known if the women have legal representation.