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School for the Blind employee charged with child endangerment

An employee of the New York State School for the Blind in Batavia has been accused of harassing and endangering three children in his care.

Kenneth L. Darch, 57,  allegedly struck two of the children on an outing and used abusive language toward them. Darch also is alleged to have taunted all three by directing their bus driver to take them to a local jail, with the threat of incarceration.

He was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of harassment a violation,  according to the state Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.

The New York State School for the Blind is operated by the State Education Department. Darch, a recreation therapist, was arraigned in Batavia City Court and is scheduled to reappear in court March 7. He has been placed on administrative leave from the school.

“People with special needs should never be intimidated, frightened or harassed by the very people who are responsible for caring for them,” said Patricia E. Gunning, a special needs prosecutor .

“This case came to light because a conscientious employee witnessed the alleged abuse and reported it.  We are grateful to those who step up and call out workers who choose to taunt and threaten children instead of doing their jobs, like this defendant is alleged to have done,” Gunning added.


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