Worthington Learning Center employees accused of enabling attack of young girl

News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Two Worthington Learning Center employees are under arrest after a video surfaced allegedly showing them allow a 5-year-old girl to be bullied right in front of them while they did nothing to stop it.

According to Columbus Police, Emma Dietrich, 31, of Columbus, and Joshua Tennant, 27, of Columbus, are facing child endangerment charges in connection with an incident from Aug. 13.

Police said a video recorded that day show Dietrich and Tennant sitting at a table in a classroom when a student is brought into the room by one of Dietrich’s older students.

The video shows the older students grabbing, pulling, dragging, swinging and “bullying” the girl, who appears frightened and keeps her eyes closed or covered, police said. At one point, the girl attempts to curl up into a fetal position.

Police said the video shows that the young girl tried to get away from the other students, but they grabbed her and held her down.

Police said the video shows Dietrich and Tennant sitting at a table and watching the “bullying” actions of the other students against the young girl. At no time did either Dietrich or Tennant attempt to stop the older students.

According to police, there is a point where Tennant picks up the young girl by her right ankle, grabs her other leg, and carries her upside down, placing her on a rug.

Court documents filed by police state both Dietrich and Tennant allowed the incident to happen as a form of discipline.

According to court records, Tennant has been released from custody after posting bond. He will be arraigned on Sept. 16 in Franklin County Municipal Court.

As of Tuesday evening, Dietrich remains in custody. She is scheduled to be arraigned in municipal court Wednesday morning.

Police have not released the video described in court documents.

Multiple parents said that Tennant was fantastic with kids and they never had issues.

At the same time, some parents said they plan to pull their kids from this facility.

The Learning Center is a family-operated daycare center with two locations, Worthington and Westerville.

NBC4 went to Worthington Learning Center to try to get a response about the recent arrests.

The administrator of the learning center is listed as Lisa Tennant. However, the woman who came to the door said she wasn’t the owner and said, “No comment.”

NBC4 also went to both of the suspects’ homes; no one answered at either house.

According to the recent inspection reports online, it is a licensed childcare center.

The last time it was inspected by the state was in June. The state found several issues, which included safety and the child abuse training required by the staff was initially not met.

However, everything is now in compliance as noted in the inspection report.

The Worthington Learning Center has been cooperative during the investigation.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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