• Titusville day care operator speaks out about abuse allegations


    TITUSVILLE, Fla. - A Brevard County day care operator is speaking out about the abuse allegations that could get her license revoked.

    Evelyn Bell, 86, is accused of using corporal punishment at Bethlehem Baptist Child Care in Titusville.

    She denies ever physically punishing a child at the day care, and said the children have great imaginations, and tell their parents things that didn’t happen.

    But the Department of Children and Families isn’t convinced.

    More than 50 people crowded into Bell’s front yard Thursday because they don’t believe the allegations that she or her co-workers used corporal punishment.

    No one is facing criminal charges, but DCF wants to revoke the facility’s license.

    “If this was anyone else they had this on, I might say ‘maybe.’ But Evelyn? No way,” said supporter Helen Hayes.

    Bell said she taught in Brevard public school for 33 years, where she was the district’s first African-American kindergarten teacher.

    “We’re going to fight it out, I’m 86-years-old, but I’m not a quitter. I have a good name and I want to keep my name,” she said.

    For Bell, that could eventually mean a formal hearing alongside DCF.

    “Maybe I should step away because of these allegations, but I want to stay until I can prove to the people I did not do what they say I did,” Bell said.

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