Huntsville YMCA officials suspended an employee after allegations of abuse surfaced.
Officials said they received the allegation earlier this week. A parent claimed there was a strong or extreme level of discipline used on a child. The YMCA said it is procedure to pass along any allegation to the Department of Human Resources and let them investigate.
The family also contacted DHR after a woman witnessed the abuse. Trey McDowell said his wife walked into the Weatherly Road YMCA on Wednesday to pick up the couple's grandson. She told her husband she watched an employee shove another child's face into a cot and pick that child up by her arm. The McDowells said they were shocked at what they saw and reported it to the YMCA and DHR.
YMCA President and CEO, Scott Mounts said that the Y serves 250 children a day in their pre-school programs.
He said the teacher in question has been with the company for 13 years and he's never heard of a complaint against her.
"It is important to know that the safety of the children is our first priority at Y," Mounts said.
While the DHR investigates the allegations, Mounts said it's important not to jump to conclusions.
"Until the investigation is done and depending on the results of the investigation the YMCA will act in a manner that's directed by that investigation," he said.
The YMCA will not release whether or not the employee is on paid or unpaid administrative leave.
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