Crime

‘My heart is breaking,’ Ballantyne preschool owner says of molestation cases

Primrose School of Ballantyne had to close its doors Thursday after the N.C. Division of Child Development and Early Education issued a summary suspension of its license.
Primrose School of Ballantyne had to close its doors Thursday after the N.C. Division of Child Development and Early Education issued a summary suspension of its license. WBTV

The owner of a Ballantyne preschool shuttered by the state this week said her heart is breaking “for those who have been impacted by this situation.”

State officials suspended Primrose School of Ballantyne’s license and State Rep. Scott Stone called for criminal charges Thursday after a former teacher was accused of molesting children.

“On behalf of our wonderful, loving faculty and staff that made up our school family, we are all saddened,” Mary Schroeder, owner of Primrose School of Ballantyne, said in a statement Friday afternoon. “The lives of our parents, children, and employees have been significantly disrupted. But, the relationships and greater good that has been shared in this school will not be forgotten.”

The N.C. Division of Child Development and Early Education issued the summary suspension action Thursday, requiring the school to close its doors at the end of the business day Thursday.

Division officials said they had “determined that Primrose School of Ballantyne is not a safe and healthy environment for children … and that emergency action is required to protect the health, safety and welfare of children.”

On Thursday night, the national Primrose School chain announced it is terminating its franchise agreement with Schroeder. The school’s website was deactivated.

In Friday’s statement, Schroeder said she has met with most of the school’s parents, “and the support from those who know us best has been incredible. We look forward to the opportunity to speak on our behalf and carefully examine the facts of this case within a fair and just setting. Thank you for the outpouring of support from all facets of our community. Your caring response has sustained us during these difficult times.”

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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