A 3-year-old had to get seven stitches at the hospital after she was apparently thrown against a cabinet by a teacher at a daycare.
A CCTV video from Brighter Day Care and Preschool in Missouri captured the alleged assault, which occurred on Feb. 1.
The video shows the child, who appeared calm, standing beside a chair before a teacher walked across the room, grabbed the child’s arm, dragged her away from the other children, and threw her against a cabinet, reported Fox 2 Now.
“In no world did this family have any idea that what was called a fall was actually an assault until they came to see that video”
The child split her head from the incident and was taken to the hospital for treatment. The teacher sent a note home to the child’s parents saying that she fell.
The family’s attorney Jennifer Hansen said the family, who wanted to remain anonymous, would not have known it was an assault if they had not seen the video.
“In no world did this family have any idea that what was called a fall was actually an assault until they came to see that video,” Hansen told the news broadcaster. “One of the more egregious aspects of this case is that the daycare director told the family that she did not watch the surveillance tape until the family was with her.”
And that was five days after the incident. Hansen said a family member filmed the surveillance footage of the security monitor with their cellphone. She was shocked to discover the incident did not appear to be simply an accident.
The attorney said the daycare could have reviewed the footage earlier but instead this allowed the daycare worker who allegedly assaulted the child to continue working for another five days before being fired.
Police and state child care inspectors are currently investigating the incident.
According to Fox 2 Now, the daycare has had a history of past incidents including a child being slammed down on a cot, and another child being dragged across the room in May 2018. Moreover, inspectors said the staff was not equipped with a preventative plan for when a child repeatedly hit and choked another child in 2016. Also in the same year, another child fell off a chair and sustained a fracture.
The daycare’s director Sharon Williams told the news broadcaster that they couldn’t comment due to the investigation.
But the daycare’s attorney said in a statement that, “All teachers and staff are properly trained and extremely qualified. Providing a quality education in a safe environment is of the utmost importance to our teachers and staff. It has always been our policy to notify the proper authorities and to fully comply with any investigation. We have and will continue to follow said policy.”
In a similar case at an unlicensed daycare in Kansas, a 4-month-old was blinded and suffered from developmental issues after being abused by a 27-year-old daycare operator, Paige Hatfield, in 2017.
Hatfield was found guilty of aggravated battery in January this year. She was also found guilty of unlawfully running a daycare out of her home.
"We pretty much had to grieve the loss of our child and accept that the baby that we were bringing home was not the baby that I dropped off at daycare that day." 💔
According to a Department of Health and Human Services report (pdf), approximately 3.5 million children were the subject of at least one maltreatment report in the federal fiscal year 2017. The victim rate is 9.1 victims per 1,000 children in the population.
Moreover, children in their first year of life have the highest rate of victimization at 25.3 per 1,000 children of the same age in the national population.
The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline is available at 1-800-422-4453 or at Childhelp.org.