Orange County

Preschool turns in summer camp teacher over child-abuse allegations by parent

Phillip Thomas
Phillip Thomas Contributed

Orange County deputies charged a part-time teacher Wednesday with two counts of taking indecent liberties with a student, according to a news release.

Philip Anthony Thomas, of 250 Amberwood Run in Chapel Hill, was being held at the Orange County Detention Center in lieu of $20,000 secured bond. He is scheduled to appear in a Hillsborough courtroom at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 27.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office reported being contacted July 7 by the Our PlayHouse Preschool and Kindergarten, located at 3501 N.C. 54 West in Chapel Hill, about possible inappropriate conduct involving a part-time teacher and a child.

The incidents allegedly occurred at the school’s summer camp during the weeks of June 12 and June 19, deputies reported, after investigating the claims. They noted Thomas has been employed with other early childhood development agencies and programs.

Our PlayHouse owner and executive director Danielle Sunde issued a news release Wednesday afternoon in response to interview requests.

“Several weeks ago, a parent brought to my attention a serious allegation of inappropriate contact with their child by a former substitute teacher,” Sunde said. “Upon being made aware of this allegation, I immediately contacted all applicable state and local authorities and took all necessary steps to assure the safety of the school’s children.”

“It is this action which led to the investigation and charges currently being reported. I will continue to work with law enforcement authorities during this investigation and as always will make the safety and well-being of our school’s children my highest priority,” she said.

The investigation is ongoing, and additional charges are possible, the report stated. Anyone with information can contact Investigator D. Hunter at 919-245-2915.

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb