NC preschool teacher facing indecent liberties charges

Philip Anthony Thomas

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — A Chapel Hill man who’s a part-time teacher at a preschool and kindergarten in Chapel Hill is facing multiple indecent liberties charges, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office received a report from Our PlayHouse Preschool and Kindergarten, located at 3501 Highway 54 West in Chapel Hill, that alleged “inappropriate conduct involving a part-time teacher and a child,” authorities said. That report was filed July 7.

The sheriff’s office began an investigation and it was determined that the alleged incidents occurred at the school’s summer camp between June 12 and June 19.

Philip Anthony Thomas was arrested at his home at 250 Amberwood Run around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a student.

Thomas is being held at the Orange County Detention Center under a $20,000 secured bond. His first court appearance is set for Thursday in Hillsborough.

Authorities said the investigation is ongoing and more charges are possible. Thomas has been previously employed at other early childhood development programs and agencies.

North Carolina law requires the following requirements for anyone who provides child care, part time or full time:

    • A criminal background check. It includes state and federal fingerprinting, the sex offender registry, and court databases.
    • In-service training hours. These must be completed and documented annually.
    • A DHHS qualification letter

Day cares are required to keep this documentation.

DHHS told CBS North Carolina Our PlayHouse in Chapel Hill is not licensed by the health department.

The spokesperson was not immediately sure if the Department was aware the daycare was in operation.

The day care owner operates a center in Durham under the same name that is licensed.

CBS North Carolina Investigates pulled the records for the Durham facility and found that on at least four occasions, the state has inspected the facility and issued violations for staff not having the required number of in-service training hours.

Anyone with information related to the crimes should contact investigator D. Hunter at (919) 245-2915.

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