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Dallas Charter School Could Reopen Soon

School could reopen if it shows state regulators that all employees have had criminal background checks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    State regulators closed Children First Academy last week after the Texas Education Agency found the school failed to report cases of suspected child abuse and did not conduct required criminal background history checks.

    A Dallas charter school forced to temporarily shut its doors last week could reopen in a matter of days.

    State regulators closed Children First Academy last week after the Texas Education Agency found the school failed to report cases of suspected child abuse and did not conduct required criminal background history checks.

    Shenique Sparks said her 3-year-old son was abused by a teacher on a school bus.

    "I was very upset -- really, in shock -- because I could not believe a teacher would strike my son in the head," she said. "He struck him so hard, my son had bruising and swelling on his head."

    Sparks filed a complaint with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. The agency investigated and found "reason to believe" physical abuse occurred. A "reason to believe" finding means that a preponderance of the evidence supports allegations that abuse or neglect occurred.

    The agency said the investigation is now closed.

    TEA spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson said the school would be allowed to reopen once it shows proof that all employees have had required criminal background checks. The school, which also has a campus in Houston, will appear before the TEA at 10 a.m. Thursday in Austin.

    The agency will also appoint a representative to each campus to direct the school’s leadership and administration.

    Efforts to contact the school's administration were unsuccessful.