Local school monitors possible at-home abuse in students


Saint Patrick School teacher, Lucy Zaynor, discusses the school’s policy on protecting students in at-home abuse cases. 

Erin Simonek

Local school monitors possible at-home abuse in students from KentWired.com on Vimeo.

Sierra Day and boyfriend Deonte Lewis were found guilty of aggravated murder in the death of 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett.

 Jurors found Day and Lewis guilty of all charges including aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault, permitting child abuse, three counts of endangering children and tampering with evidence.

Aniya’s daycare saw signs of abuse in Aniya but it was not enough to save her.

Saint Patrick School in Kent, Ohio has handled child abuse cases in the past.

Teacher Lucy Zaynor had an elementary school student approach her a couple years back. The student told her they “had a bad weekend.”

“They told me they didn’t get very much sleep,” Zaynor said. “The student was able to show me physical abuse that had happened.”

She said from there it was her instinct to let school officials know and call in Child Protective Services along with the local police that same day. 

Saint Patrick School Secretary Josette Atkinson recalls the case and said the school did a wonderful job taking care of the situation right away. “We didn’t wait,” Atkinson said, “we were on top of things.”

Atkinson said the child did not want to go home and administration handled the situation fast.

“There’s no way you can send a child back home like that,” said Atkinson, “there’s just no way.”

Atkinson interacts with parents frequently as head secretary. She said she always tries to pay attention to possible risk in parents and students showing sign of abuse.

“If abuse were to happen again and that child told anybody in the school it would be taken care of the way I took care it,” Zaynor said.

Zaynor and Atkinson agreed caregivers must develop sincere relationships with their children so they do feel comfortable. 

“We need to create an environment where students feel safe enough to talk to us about things that are important,” Zaynor said. “They have to feel they have a safe place to go.”

A TV2 story is coming for this story.