GREENSBORO, N.C. — A nonprofit organization representing child abuse awareness held a news conference after a preschool teacher from a Greensboro church was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for abusing children.
In 2019, Alyson Saunders was arrested and charged with exploiting and producing pornography of children. Saunders, who was sentenced last month, was an employee at Fellowship Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship Day School. There were five children involved who were believed to be students at the school, according to WXII.
Loxie Gant with the Coalition for Institutional Child Abuse Prevention led the briefing on Thursday.
Gant, who consults families in situations of abuse, felt the arrest was mishandled by Law Enforcement and the church tried to avoid transparency and accountability. She claimed parents trying to advocate for children were threatened and intimidated by church elders and clergy.
Gant stated that the school did not bring in a local child advocacy team after the incident and instead responded to concerned parents with a full litigation prevention strategy, brought on in part by a lawyer who was also a church elder. She also alleged that the perpetrator's aunt and then-assistant director of the Fellowship Day preschool, Debbie Clark, has since created a new church-affiliated preschool in Greensboro called "Peas in a Pod."
The group believes there were no efforts by officials to interview other possible victims beyond the five children known to be involved.