WEST CHESTER – A former teacher at Malvern School who was accused of physically assaulting a young child in her care has been held accountable for her actions, as two other part-time workers at the education facility early childhood await their day in court.
Earlier this month, Bucks County resident Kendall Marie Fleish pleaded guilty in Montgomery County to a single count of common assault for abusing an 8-month-old girl she was born to. occupied at the school site in Horsham.
Fleish, who was charged by Horsham Police in November 2020, was sentenced to three years probation by Common Pleas Judge Steven O’Neill on January 5. As part of the agreement his lawyer, Michael Noone of West Chester, reached with prosecutors, Fleisch will be banned from working or volunteering with children. And not have unsupervised contact with children other than his own.
Noone, a former Chester County First Assistant District Attorney, declined to comment on his client’s behalf last week.
Fleisch’s case came before the two arrests that were made by Westtown-East Goshen. Last year, regional police of a Westtown location teacher who allegedly assaulted and harassed three toddlers there, and the school supervisor who allegedly delayed reporting the abuse to authorities in the State.
The teacher, Victoria Aronson, of Brookhaven, Delaware County, and her supervisor, Tiffany Janes Nichols, of Kennett Square, had their formal arraignments in the Court of Common Pleas scheduled for January 27. Their cases have not yet been assigned to a judge for trial. They pleaded not guilty.
Attorney Chad Maloney, of the West Chester firm of Goldberg, Goldberg & Maloney, which represents the parents of all the children involved in the three civil litigation cases, said Saturday he was saddened by the situation.
“It is tragic to learn that another child has been abused and another family has been devastated by another teacher at Malvern School,” he said in an email. “We commend law enforcement for the investigative work that led this child molester to admit his guilt in open court.
“On behalf of the families we represent and our community, we look forward to finding out why child abuse occurred at two different schools in Malvern over a 15 month period,” Maloney said.
Malvern School provided a statement on Fleisch’s case to a local TV station which told the story of the Horsham case and interviewed the parents of a child who is now 2.
“We hold our team to exceptionally high standards and demand that all of our teachers show an unwavering dedication to ensuring the safety, happiness and health of our students. We remain committed to our robust security protocols and ongoing training efforts. She was fired after her arrest.
Horsham’s child abuse was discovered in June 2020. A criminal complaint says the child was dropped off by his mother at school, which was under quarantine due to the pandemic. She had no bruises, rashes, abrasions or marks on her at the time, according to Detective Horsham Kimberly Ngo’s arrest affidavit.
But when she was picked up later that day, her mother noticed marks on her shoulder and around her left ear, on the right side of her neck and on her right forearm. An examination of the child at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia determined that the cause of the marks was suspected child abuse.
Fleish was the child’s primary carer at school on the morning of the alleged abuse. When she went on break, another school official noticed the marks on her head, which were getting worse over time.
The child’s parents, in an interview with the TV station, said: “From the start, it was clear that we were on a different page on this.
“They felt like there was no wrongdoing. We very much disagreed on that,” Steven Clarke said. The Clarkes say the Malvern school allowed Fleisch to care for other children for weeks until she was formally charged by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
“We want them to identify those red flags, to see when it happens, to flag it before it has to go to the nurse or the doctor who caught it,” Steven Clarke said.
According to a criminal complaint filed by Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department (WEGO) Detective Michael Meiswich, the charges against Nichols involve actions she did or did not take following reports of abuse. about the three toddlers allegedly committed by Aronson in the “First Step” age class at the school, which opened in early 2021.
The complaint alleges that Nichols was informed of the incidents by three separate witnesses to the events, but did not report the matter to ChildLine, the child abuse complaint reporting agency at the state Department of Human Services. , in right time.
It says Aronson was allowed to remain employed by the school for a time despite the abuse charges and continued to work in the school’s classrooms. Aronson was arrested by WEGO in late October after police received an abuse report from the Chester County Detectives Office, which had been forwarded by ChildLine.
According to Meiswich’s complaint, the alleged abuse of the three children – identified as Victim E, aged 15 months; victim S, aged 16 months; and Victim J, 14 months old – took place on September 29 and 30 at the school. One of the children reportedly suffered a severe bruise on his back and a scratch near his eye.
Malvern School offers care and nurturing programs for children aged 6 weeks to 8 years. It was founded in Malvern in 1998 and now has 26 locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
To contact editor Michael P. Rellahan, call 610-696-1544.