Georgia private school owner pleads guilty to choking, beating students

The founder of a private school in South Georgia pleaded guilty Tuesday to nine counts of first-degree child cruelty against her students, according to several media reports.

Linda Terrell McLean was accused of assaulting eight Favor Christian Academy students in Thomasville in 2015 and 2016, according to the Thomasville Times-Enterprise. In 2017, she was indicted on 18 charges, including 11 counts of first-degree child cruelty and four counts of aggravated assault.

The indictment alleged McLean forced one child to lie across a chair with his pants down while other students pinned him down so she could whip him with a yardstick, according to the newspaper. She also threw workbooks at children and choked them on other occasions.

In one incident, she was accused of grabbing a child’s head, twisting their neck and forcing their head onto a table repeatedly.

After the indictment, she was released on a $50,000 bond and moved to the Atlanta area, Thomasville-based WCTV-TV reported.

A sentencing date has not been set, but McLean faces a maximum of 180 years in prison, probation or a combination of the two, the Times-Enterprise reported.

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