Cherokee County

Teacher accused of slapping, pinning 2-year-old to ground at Cherokee County daycare

WOODSTOCK, Ga. — A woman who was hired to care for children is accused of abusing a 2-year-old child, while she was a teacher at a daycare.

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Investigators say the crimes happened at the Sunshine House of Woodstock in Cherokee County.

According to the affidavit obtained by Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Michele Newell, security cameras captured Ashley Marie O’Connor dragging the victim across a floor, slapping and shaking him, pinning him to the ground multiple times and attempting to suffocate him with a blanket.


O’Connor is charged with child cruelty and aggravated assault strangulation. She was arrested and is now out on bond.

A spokesperson for Sunshine House released this statement regarding the incident:

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of all children in our care. We cannot stress enough how seriously we take this incident.

During routine monitoring of security camera footage on March 14, 2024, we discovered an incident that had occurred the day prior involving a teacher at our school on Wiley Bridge Road in Woodstock, GA. We immediately notified the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, Bright from the Start, and the parents of the child involved in the incident, in accordance with all state licensing regulations and company procedures.

All state and company hiring policies were followed prior to hiring this individual. As a state-licensed and regulated childcare provider, this process includes a comprehensive criminal background check that includes both in-state and national fingerprint-based criminal history and a child abuse and neglect registry check. Unfortunately, we cannot comment further due to the ongoing investigation” said Megan Singleton, a company spokesperson.”

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Michele Newell

Michele Newell, WSB-TV

Michele Newell has been part of the WSB-TV family since November 2021. Before moving to Atlanta, Michele worked at TV news stations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio and Steubenville, Ohio.

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