Linda McLean moves, no trial date set


THOMASVILLE — A former Thomasville private school administrator accused of violently shaking students, repeatedly whipping them with belts and rulers, and slamming their heads into tables — and out of jail on bond — now resides south of Atlanta.

Dr. Linda McLean, founder and director of Favor Christian Academy, was indicted in July 2017 on 15 counts. The indictment includes allegations involving eight children, with the incidents happening in May, August and September 2016. Charges include simple battery, first-degree cruelty to children, simple assault and aggravated assault.

In one instance, the indictment alleges McLean grabbed a child by the throat and pushed him into furniture, pinning him down. McLean is also accused of whipping a child repeatedly with a belt in the lunchroom in front of other students. Another count of the indictment alleges she ordered fellow students to pin a child across a chair with his pants down while she whipped him.

A $50,000 bond was set in March 2017. A subsequent order modifying bond conditions allows McLean to relocate to the Atlanta area "or at least three hours north of Thomasville, Georgia."

Bond conditions prohibit McLean from acting as school administrator, but allow her to participate in school business for the limited purposes of selling the school and speaking with scholarship programs and donors regarding the sale.

On Thursday, Thomas County clerk of court records showed the school has not been sold.

"The defendant shall not open another school or work within another daycare, school or church setting or any kind of educational program involving children until this matter has been resolved," Superior Court Judge Harry Jay Altman's order stated.

Converse Bright, a Valdosta attorney, withdrew from the case in September. Court documents show McLean is now represented by Chinwe' Foster, an Atlanta lawyer.

Thomasville-based assistant district attorney Catherine Smith is prosecuting the McLean case.

"We are involved in meetings to review the evidence with her attorneys," Smith told the Times-Enterprise Thursday. "No trial date has been set."

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820 

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