Cops: Cobb church daycare worker dislocated shoulder of 1-year-old

Gail A. Pereira
Gail A. Pereira

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

A daycare worker at one of Cobb County’s oldest churches has been fired and charged for allegedly dislocating a 1-year-old boy’s shoulder in class.

Gail A. Pereira, of Marietta, faces a felony charge of second-degree child cruelty, according to a warrant approved by a judge Friday.

Pereira, 60, started working at Zion Baptist Academy in March, principal George Weathers told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday.

According to the warrant, Pereira dragged the 20-month-old boy by his right arm “a short distance,” causing his arm to pop out of socket.

The boy went without medical attention until the director of academy “noticed the child wasn’t feeling well,” Weathers said, and the school called his mother.

The mother took the boy to a doctor, where the extent of the injury was revealed.

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Weathers said Pereira was put on unpaid leave as police investigated. When cops told the school their findings, Pereira was fired July 19, he said Thursday.

After further questioning from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday, Weathers said that Pereira was allowed to come back to the classroom for five days before leaving again.

He wouldn’t say when that happened, saying it was a private personnel matter.

“This is a very serious tragic event. We care very seriously about the safety of our students,” Weathers said.

The downtown Marietta church was formed in 1866 by former slaves. The academy has been running about a decade, Weathers said.

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