Infant Abuse: Daycare To Stay Closed

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Dandridge (WVLT) - We've been following the story of four month old Deshawn Tenor, who's mouth authorities say was taped shut by his caregiver at a Jefferson City daycare.

After a postponed hearing, Noah's Ark Nursery and preschool will remain closed until a new hearing date has been set.

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt was at the hearing and spoke to a few parents who came out in support of the daycare owner.

Every parent we talked to, including Deshawn's mother, wants the daycare to re-open and will have their children return. They say it's unfortunate the two accused caregivers had to ruin the daycare's reputation.

"I'm kind of upset with whoever did it," Deshawn's mother, Nicole Tenor, said.

But Nicole Tenor, the mother of young Deshawn, and daycare co-owner and director Kim Trentham hug.

"It wasn't the daycare's fault. It is a really, really good daycare," Tenor said.

Nicole and other parents came to a hearing to support Trentham, who says she's devastated by the alleged child abuse actions.

"I am also ultimately responsible for the care that my staff provides, whether it be the high quality we expect or as in case with Tuesday's situation, highly unacceptable," Trentham said.

The hearing was postponed, and until a new date is set, Noah's Ark nursery and preschool remains closed.

"I was completely shocked, completely and utterly shocked how anyone in their right mind could ever do something like that," said a woman only identified as Christina, who says she supports the nursery.

While Christina says she's shocked, she says the care her 3-year old daughter has received has been excellent.

"She's made friends, she loves her teachers, she loves her friends, it's a great environment for kids to be at," Christina said.

Wendy Webb's three-and-a-half-year-old daughter also loves the daycare.

"She has a great time, loves all the teachers," Webb said.

These moms say they have never questioned anything that's happened there.

"I just think it's a sad situation that two individuals have unfortunately tarnished the reputation of an outstanding institution," Webb said.

These full-time working parents are hopeful the daycare will re-open, but now have to put a temporary plan in place for childcare.

"We'll obviously take very close look at any other choices that we make and hopefully make the right choice for our daughter," Webb said.

And Trentham says she'll be taking a close look into the investigation with DHS.

"I have never, in the 14 years of my owning this center, have I ever witnessed any of my caregivers given unwillingfully, wrong doing to any child whatsoever. Had I seen that, they would have been terminated," Trentham said.

As for Deshawn and his mom.

"I'm just trying to take it one day at a time and try to move on with it," Tenor said.

Trentham would not comment on the job status of the two accused caregivers. As soon as a new hearing date is set we'll let you know.

Meanwhile, four-month-old Deshawn will be taken care of by his great-grandmother.

We will continue to bring you the latest on this story on Volunteer TV News and VolunteerTV.com


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  • by waverlyjones Location: malone on Sep 28, 2007 at 01:24 PM
    the daycare should have to pay the family of the childs pain and sufering and the onwers should not be aloud run any facilities retaning to children
  • by Joid Location: Knoxville on Sep 27, 2007 at 09:49 PM
    I am in awe of this! The family is supporting this? What type of parents are they? I am disgusted! I have worked in childcare for 10 years and this just sickens me! If they allow this center to reopen, there is a serious problem with the system. If they use their three-star rating as a back-up for this, that is crazy! ANY center can B.S. their way into a three star rating! The evaluation is only once a year! Contact me if I can help in any way!

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