Family sues Wilmington daycare, two employees accused of child abuse

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington daycare and two of its employees are being sued after the two employees were accused of hitting children with a belt.

Pamela Carr and Geraldine Sidbury were both charged for an incident that happened on May 26 at Carr’s Academy, which is owned by Carr. 

A civil lawsuit was filed at the end of last month by attorneys representing one of the victims in the case against the two women charged and the daycare.

The lawsuit claims the young victim was seven years old when the incident happened. The lawsuit also claims that the victim’s mother was never notified of any incidents involving the disciplining of children specifically this victim at the Carr location.

According to the lawsuit, an incident happened on May 26, 2021. 

“The van from Carr’s Peachtree location picked up minor child, her older brother, and other children from Snipes as usual.”

The lawsuit claims the young victim and her best friend, another first grade girl, adjusted their seat belts and the van driver/or another employee of the Carr’s Peachtree location reprimanded them for allegedly standing or trying to stand up in the van while en route.

According to the lawsuit, when the van got to the Carr’s Peachtree location, Sidbury and Carr told the young victim and the other girl to sit on a bench quietly.

“Minor Child and the other first grade girl sat outside Defendant Pamela Carr’s office in fear; they knew from experience that they were waiting to be punished,” the lawsuit said.

Then, Carr and Sidbury brought the two children into Carr’s office.

“In her hand, Defendent Carr held a leather belt given to her by her brother-in-law, who worked in various capacities at the facility and drove the school transport van from time to time. ‘Mr. Bryan,’ as he was known, had taken off the belt for Defendant Carr to use to discipline the children,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said Carr yelled at both of the children to hold out their hands. Then Carr his each of the girls with the belt across the hands.

“The girls began to cry and wail. However, Defendants Pamela Carr and Geraldine Sidbury were not dissuaded from the discipline. Upon information and belief, Defendant Geraldine Sidbury then took hold of the belt and repeatedly whipped Minor Child and the other first grade girl with it, with blows connecting at numerous places on the girls’ bodies. According to a police department description of video of the beating, Defendant Geraldine Sidbury repeatedly raised the belt above her head before bringing it down on the girls,” the lawsuit said.

After being hit with the belt, the lawsuit said the children were told to dry their eyes, wipe their faces and gather themselves before joining the other children to play outside.

The lawsuit said the minor victim was too scared to tell her older brother about the beating who was also on the van. The girl also did not tell her mother. It was not until the minor victim mentioned the incident to a social worker at Snipes Elementary that an investigation was launched.

According to the lawsuit, Wilmington Police discovered video of the belt beatings on film. The lawsuit said Sidbury immediately resigned her position with the facility when Wilmington Police officers arrived.

The plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages in excess of $25,000 to recover all of the substantial damages including medical, counseling expense, lost wages, increased child care costs, and significant pain and severe emotional pain and suffering.

In court on Tuesday, Sidbury and Carr pleaded no contest to two counts of assault on a child under 12, and both received the same sentence: 18 months of supervised probation, a 120 day suspended sentence, and no contact with minor children who are not relatives.

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