Bradford County

Bradford Preschool & Daycare employee arrested, charged with child abuse

STARKE, Fla. — Courtney Jones was arrested last week after a cell phone video surfaced in August 2021.

Police said you can hear Courtney Jones say to a child, “I’ll put my hand around your neck and choke -slam you.”

According to the report, Jones said she was talking to her own child, not another student


The arrest comes about a month after the Department of Children and Families temporarily suspended the daycare’s license in June, about 10 months after the video was reported to the police.

“I’m so glad that I finally feel like my son is getting some justice, but I don’t think it should stop there, said mother Taylor Williams. She claimed her son Zachariah was on the other end of the alleged verbal abuse.

Action News Jax Robert Grant reached out to Jones over the phone. When he asked for a response to the charges, she hung up.

Courtney Jones

He also approached the owner at the daycare Wednesday about the license suspension, but she had no comment.

The warrant details other disturbing allegations linked to Bradford Preschool, which has been around for three decades.

According to the report, a former employee told police they would use a “life-size monster doll” in an attempt to get kids to behave.

Staffers are also accused of “locking children in the side yard alone as punishment,” and would “get older children to physically fight the younger children that were misbehaving.”

The report also said teachers would often squeeze children’s faces firmly and threaten to staple them with a stapler.

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Action News Jax has asked DCF on multiple occasions why it took so long to shut down the daycare. The only response we’ve received from a representative is, “We will process your request.”

“My whole reason for coming forward and reporting it and taking (it) public was to protect the other children and stop it from happening to another child. I just felt like my voice went unheard,” Williams said

.A representative for Starke police said there will likely be additional criminal charges to come.

Jones has a previous charge for child neglect stemming from the daycare in 2015. It was eventually dropped because the state said there wasn’t enough evidence.

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