School worker on leave after child abuse charges - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

School worker on leave after child abuse charges

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Darlece Jenkins (Source: Jackson County Sheriff’s Department) Darlece Jenkins (Source: Jackson County Sheriff’s Department)
JACKSON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A DeKalb County school worker is on leave following her arrest for abusing her 5-year-old stepson in neighboring Jackson County.

Investigators said the woman broke the child's leg, and it was reported to law enforcement by hospital workers.

Darlece Dalene Jenkins, 44 of Flat Rock, was charged Friday with willful abuse of a child.

Jenkins has worked in the DeKalb County School System for seven years. She is currently a custodian for Ider School.

Sheriff's officials said the abuse happened at their home off County Road 326 on November 9.

It is unclear how the woman broke the child's leg, but authorities said the 5-year-old was taken to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, and they reported the suspected abuse to law enforcement.

An investigation led to Jenkins' arrest.

One neighbor said the family kept very much to themselves and had no idea the incident had happened and is left to wonder why.

"Well, it's pretty bad.  You know, I don't know the circumstances or nothing like that, but I mean, you know, still, why break a 5-year-old's leg?  It doesn't make sense," said neighbor Rayford Shrader.

Jenkins is due to appear before a judge on January 9, 2013.

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