Memphis daycare owner charged with child abuse

Kendra Holmes (Source: Memphis Police)
Kendra Holmes (Source: Memphis Police)

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The owner of a Memphis daycare center was jailed Monday on charges of child abuse and neglect.

Kendra Holmes runs the Neighborhood Learning Academy out of a house in a Memphis subdivision.  According to an affidavit of complaint, last January, Holmes spanked a three-year-old student "because she wouldn't do her school work."

When the girl's mom noticed bruises, she called the sheriff's department.  The affidavit says investigators took photos of "reddish blue markings and bruising on both legs near the buttocks."

Holmes told investigators she tapped the three-year-old on her backside three times.  But attorney Paul Robinson, who is representing the three-year-old and her mom in a pending civil suit, called the claims of abuse legitimate.

"It's a tough situation to deal with, but they're okay," he said. "They're okay and working to be okay."

Robinson said Holmes went too far with the discipline.

Neighbors, meanwhile, were surprised by the charges.

"I was in shock," Ralph Snelling said. "She seems like such a nice lady."

Neighbors said traffic is sometimes and issue near the house, saying subdivision rules typically prohibit home businesses.  But most said the idea of Holmes harming a child was hard to believe.

"It just doesn't seem like something she would do," Snelling said.

Holmes has been released on bond.  No one answered the door at the daycare center when Action News 5 visited Tuesday.

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