Apopka day care worker charged with child cruelty

By Anthony Leone, Digital Media Producer
Last Updated: Friday, August 11, 2017, 2:10 PM EDT

An Apopka day care worker struck a 4-year-old child on the arm with a ruler hard enough to leave "significant contusions," police said.

  • Janet Gainer charged with abusing a child without great harm
  • Child said Gainer struck the child with a ruler
  • Investigators: Child had 'significant contusions'

Janet Michelle Gainer has been charged with cruelty toward child/abuse of child without great bodily harm after police and state child-care investigators said she struck the child at the Learning Tree Academy on Monday, according to an Apopka Police Department report.

The Learning Tree Academy is located at 340 Votaw Road.

The 4-year-old child told investigators that Gainer, 54, hit them with a "yardstick," later determined to be a ruler. When officers spoke to the teacher assistant, she said the child had gotten upset and kept hitting children and the teacher with a shoe. Gainer said she then "tapped" the child's hand and told them it wasn't nice to hit people.

Learning Tree Academy's "parent handbook" forbids physical punishment, according to a police report.

A child protection team examined the child Wednesday and identified "bruises, square shape and measuring 4x2 cm are clearly defined and slightly swollen at sites," a report states.

Gainer was released from the Orange County Jail early Friday. The school declined to comment.