Daycare employee caught dragging child; Is it abuse?

CRYSTAL CITY, MO (KTVI) -  A daycare employee is caught on camera dragging a two-year-old by the arm, which resulted in a trip to the emergency room.  Yet Missouri Regulators claim they can`t prove abuse.

Fox 2 obtained a copy of the video tape so that you can decide. A child`s mom considers it abuse.  State regulators say it`s not.

In a room with seven kids, you can see a teacher who appears frustrated.  Before the incident in question, she picks up a kid by the arms to move him.  Then the child starts to crawl for something and she sweeps him back to his seat and presses his hands to his lap.

Then another two-year-old, who`s playing with a towel, also appears to frustrate the teacher.

The mother of that child, who did not want to be identified said, "My daughter was just playing, being a little girl and out of nowhere (the teacher) snatches the towel out of her hand and picks her up and puts her on the ground."

Then the teacher throws the towel.  It`s what happens next that scares mom most.  Her daughter, who hasn`t moved since the teacher sat her down, picks up the two-year-old by one arm and drags her to a chair.

The girl's Mom explained, "(My daughter's) hurt and cryingand she`s holding her arm that she drug her by and she sat there for a total of eight minutes."

Eight minutes holding her arm and alone, while the teacher sat reading to other students.

The owner of the daycare, Brain Station in Crystal City, thought it was concerning enough to fire the worker and call parents, police and the child abuse hotline.

Mom took her little girl to the hospital where doctors diagnosed an arm sprain, but the Missouri Department of Social Services found the 'allegation of abuse' `unsubstantiated` or unproven.

That means it`s as if the incident never happened.  The worker has a clean record to get another job.

The girl's Mom said, "I think she shouldn`t be able to take care of a person period. I mean, she`s going to have another bad day and whose child is it going to be?"

The video is from July, it's just taken this long to obtain it after the investigation.  The daycare owner said he`d do it again - make the same call to the abuse hotline - if he had to do it over.

Regulators won`t talk about their decision to `unsubstantiate` because it`s considered a closed and private record.

The State's definition of abuse is "any physical injury that's not an accident."  This is where we'd like to hear what you think.

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