Day care teacher sent to jail for spanking

Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2007

FAIRBANKS - A former child care provider who spanked a 4-year-old girl and left bruises was sentenced to three days in jail.

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Regenia Dark, 48, pleaded no contest Thursday to misdemeanor assault.

Dark closed her Fairbanks business, Bright and Morning Star Child Care, after the spanking was made public. The state revoked her license to provide child care. Dark did not have permission to spank the child.

District Court Judge Raymond Funk banned Dark from baby-sitting, except for relatives, for two years. He said that as a licensed child care worker, she should have known better than to spank a child in her care.

Dark has said she believes spanking is an appropriate punishment for children but the girl's parents, who reported her to police, said they do not.

Dark apologized for the incident. She said she loved the 4-year-old girl, who now lives in Texas with her mother. Dark in December was trying to help the girl's frazzled mother deal with her daughter's misbehavior, she said.

"My intent was to help," she said. "However, I overstepped my boundaries."

The child's father said Thursday that he and his ex-wife took their daughter to the hospital after discovering the bruising. Photographs were taken as evidence.

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