COOKEVILLE -- A pre-school teacher here has been indicted for failing to report an allegedly abusive spanking her 4-year-old son took from her husband, the child's stepfather, who has been indicted for child abuse.
Diana Rose McClard, 26, and her husband, Billy Royce McClard, 29, of E. Wall St., Algood, turned themselves in at the Putnam Sheriff's Department recently after being notified that the Putnam grand jury had issued indictments in the case.
Billy Royce McClard is charged with aggravated child abuse for allegedly spanking Diana Rose McClard's young son and leaving large bruises on him in March. She is charged with failure to report child abuse.
Diana Rose McClard teaches pre-kindergarten classes at Sycamore Elementary School. The case began on March 16 when a caregiver at the child's daycare found that he had large bruises on his backside.
The caregiver notified the Department of Children's Services, and social workers opened an investigation and also notified the Putnam Sheriff's Department, which brought Detective Jimmy Patterson into the case.
Detective Patterson declined to comment on the case other than to say, "The indictments are a result of an investigation by the Department of Children's Services and the Putnam Sheriff's Department and stem from a report concerning excessive bruising of a child living in the home.
The child is now living with another relative."
Allegedly, the child told daycare workers that his stepfather had caused the bruises, and investigators allege that the mother was present when the spanking occurred.
The grand jury indictments in the case allege that Billy Royce McClard "unlawfully and knowingly inflicted injury" on the child and that the mother knew it or had reason to suspect it and did not "immediately report such knowledge or suspicion to the appropriate authorities" as required by law.
Reportedly, the mother had first attempted to spank the child for an incident which had happened a few days earlier, an incident in which the little boy had hit his stepsister. But when the child fought her, she asked her husband to administer the spanking.
Allegedly, the stepfather used his hand to spank the child on the bottom.
The McClards were booked at the Putnam County jail on April 13 and posted bond and were released. They are to be arraigned in Criminal Court on May 21.
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