State investigators: Roswell day care didn’t mistreat Black children

Findings of a state investigation of Pine Grove Academy day care center accused of racial bias against children show violations of health and safety practices but no mistreatment based on race, an official said. The day care was formerly named  Kids R Kids. 
Credit: ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
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Findings of a state investigation of Pine Grove Academy day care center accused of racial bias against children show violations of health and safety practices but no mistreatment based on race, an official said. The day care was formerly named Kids R Kids. Credit: ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Findings of a state investigation of a Roswell day care center accused of racial bias against children show violations of health and safety practices but no mistreatment based on race, an official said.

After parents had complained earlier this year that staff at Pine Grove Academy were treating Black children differently, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning investigated. State officials reviewed several days of videotape after parents said they saw on livestreamed video white children being fed before Black children sitting next to them.

“We found that there was no pattern of withholding meals from children,” Reg Griffin, chief communications officer for the department, said Friday of the daycare formerly named Kids ‘R’ Kids.

Griffin said the department did extensive interviews with parents and teachers.

Pine Grove Academy was issued citations in May for violations of rules of The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. A report by the department said a child didn’t receive a blanket during nap time in February; two children didn’t receive water or milk in April; and on another day not stated, a child didn’t receive a spoon.

The report of that last incident read, “Staff did not provide timely attention to meet the needs of all children in care. Meals were not served at the same time to three children.”

No fine was issued with the citations, Griffin said. The violations will appear on the day care center’s written records with the state and can be found online, he said.

Daycare owner Dee Gillespie didn’t return a call to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday.

In April, a still photo from the center’s video footage showed white children with plates of food and no plates for the Black children. The photo went viral on social media and the day care center temporarily closed.

The president and CEO of Kids ‘R’ Kids, David Vinson announced the company was terminating its contract with Gillespie.

A report of the state investigation can be found on the state’s Early Care and Learning website.