• Georgia private school owner pleads guilty to choking, beating students

    By: Zachary Hansen, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Updated:
    THOMASVILLE, Ga. -

    The founder of a private school in South Georgia pleaded guilty Tuesday to nine counts of first-degree child cruelty against her students, according to several media reports.

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    Linda Terrell McLean was accused of assaulting eight Favor Christian Academy students in Thomasville in 2015 and 2016, according to the Thomasville Times-Enterprise. In 2017, she was indicted on 18 charges, including 11 counts of first-degree child cruelty and four counts of aggravated assault.

    The indictment alleged McLean forced one child to lie across a chair with his pants down while other students pinned him down so she could whip him with a yardstick, according to the newspaper. She also threw workbooks at children and choked them on other occasions.

    In one incident, she was accused of grabbing a child’s head, twisting their neck and forcing their head onto a table repeatedly.

    After the indictment, she was released on a $50,000 bond and moved to the Atlanta area, Thomasville-based WCTV-TV reported.

    A sentencing date has not been set, but McLean faces a maximum of 180 years in prison, probation or a combination of the two, the Times-Enterprise reported.

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