Probation recommended for NJ preschool director who threatened students with knife: prosecutors

PLAINFIELD, N.J. — Prosecutors have agreed to recommend probation for a former New Jersey preschool director accused of using a knife to threaten two 4-year-olds.

Adetokunbo Akinnaso is accused of threatening two 4-year-olds with a knife while she was a preschool director in New Jersey, officials said. She was detained on March 13, 2018. (Union County Prosecutor’s Office)

The Union County prosecutor’s office said Adetokunbo Akinnaso, 64, pleaded guilty last week to two counts of fourth-degree child abuse in Superior Court NJ.com reported.

Akinnaso was the director of the Dawn To Dusk Christian Childcare and Learning Center in Plainfield when prosecutors alleged she brandished a knife after two 4-year-olds were brought to her office for disciplinary reasons earlier this year.

“My child and another child were being disciplined at the time they were brought to the directors office,” Raymond Moss, the father of one of the students, told PIX11.  “At that time a knife was pulled out and she told my child she was going to cut his fingers off if he does not behave.”

The children weren’t injured and the school district said she was immediately removed from her job.

Mark Spivey, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, said Akinnaso agreed as part of her plea never to seek employment at a job working with children.

Moss expressed concern that Akinnaso won’t face more than probation and questioned the lack of weapon or threat charges, but said prosecutors told him they filed the charges they believed they could prove. Moss said his son is normally a “bundle of joy” but was traumatized and doesn’t like to talk about the episode. His son started at a new school after the incident.

Mark Spivey, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, declined to comment on other charges but said the child abuse charges weren’t reduced as part of the plea deal. The defendant’s bid for pretrial Intervention wasn’t accepted.

Defense attorney Adetula Olubukola has declined comment on the case.

PIX11 contributed to this report.