Learning center

Local church learning center preschool teacher arrested for child abuse of 2-year-old student

Deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrested a preschool teacher for child abuse of a student. The student is only identified by authorities as a 2-year-old child.

The teacher, Rebecca Bird of Largo, 62, was arrested at Aldersgate Christian Learning Center at around 4:16 p.m. on Monday, July 18, 2022. The learning center is located at 9530 Starkey Rd in unincorporated Seminole in society.

Photo of the learning center where the teacher was arrested

According to the deputies, the mother of the victim was informed by the school that her son had been the victim of assault and battery.

During the investigation, deputies discovered that Bird forcefully grabbed the victim on several occasions and, in a separate incident, knocked the victim to the ground. Deputies also discovered that the incidents were captured on school surveillance video.

According to arrest documents, Bird was seen on camera grabbing the victim’s arms multiple times and was seen grabbing the victim’s face around his chin and pushing him up. . Bird was observed taking a toy from the child and forcefully throwing it. Once she threw the toy, it appears she punched the child in the face with an open hand, followed by the victim falling to the ground. She reportedly admitted to pulling the victim’s hair when the child was not listening and grabbing the victim’s arms by the face.

According to the sheriff’s office, Bird was employed as a preschool teacher at Aldersgate Christian Learning Center from July 12, 2022 until her dismissal on the morning of July 18, 2022, after the school reviewed surveillance video.

At present, deputies believe that there are no additional victims.

Bird was charged with one count of child abuse.

Bird has multiple DUI arrests in Pinellas County, most recently in December 2017

The investigation is continuing.