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Daycare employee caught dragging child; Is it abuse?

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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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  • steve

    A family member of mine some years ago was in childcare and they were not allowed to even put their hands on the children here in Illinois near St.louis, MO. Yes it is abuse and this should follow the teacher on her record towards her next childcare job. If this was one of your kids I am sure you would agree.

    • Alabama Day Care Pro

      The owner of the daycare probably told the teacher that she’s required to have a schedule for her class. There is no “free play” so the teacher was supposed to have Story Time during that period. The teacher was probably caught in the middle between the greedy management and what the parents expect. The daycare worker probably has to clock out and as a so-called “volunteer” she’s required to clean, vacuum, and mop her room. Also in the capacity of “volunteer” she probably has fill out daily reports on the behavior, potty training, and activities that filled the students day. It’s a racket. No wonder the poor girl is frustrated. She’s probably working a four hour shift at minimum wage and then she’s putting in another two hours as a “volunteer” to do all the other work that the owners require.

  • sandra gulledge

    Picking a child up by the arms like that is very dangerous. If this woman is not able to control her frustration, she is not suitable to watch children and should be dismissed. Yes, I feel it is child abuse.

  • Penny

    Yes this is clearly child abuse, and the state is wrong in saying it is not. What if this was one of their children I bet they would say differently.

  • Diane

    The states definition of abuse “any physical injury that’s not an accident.” Well if you truly look at the video it was not an accident that this child got hurt. The teacher physically moved her and was violent towards the child. She shouldn’t be in a day care facility or anything else that involves children.

    • BB

      THS WAS NO ACCIDENT. The worker deliberately picked both children up by one arm, dangling them off their feet. THIS IS ABUSE.

  • krystal

    I almost sent my son (who just turned 2 there this year) so that I could pursue a teaching job…so glad I decided to wait…This is why I have been at home raising all three of my kids. I don’t trust anyone else with them!

    • Eric Jay

      I kept my son home with me every day until Kindergarten. NOT worth risking it with the bitter freaks out there in today’s society. Bottom line: You take a chance when you trust your children with anyone.

  • amber

    Definetly abuse, and the woman in the video should be placed on the “blacklist” and never allowed to have another job caring for another human being. If this was my child, I’d do more than drag the teacher by her arm. Two different children were man-handled by her, two too many!!

  • Kristen

    I thought child care laws state that there is to be 5 children per care giver. That woman’d body language states that she was aggravated. She should have ask for help if she was overwhelmed. Good that she was fired, but maybe she should look into a different occupation.

  • Andrew

    This is another clear example of the bone heads we have working in our government. I have no children but if that is not abuse In your eyes you need to get checked.

  • Connie Keil

    This lady shouldn’t drag one arm because its easy to tear arm’s muscle. She needs to pick up the child not drag. If she is in a bad mood, and she needs to think twice before hurting some other children.

  • myssa

    I really dont care if she was in a bad mood or not. if u are around children u need to be an adult and not take it out on the kids. If i did something like this to my daughter, i am very sure that dfs would be called on me and i would get my daughter taken away. it is horrible that someone would do that to a child!

  • silly2

    That’s what can happen when you let someone else raise your child. Day cares are just holding pens for people too selfish & greedy to raise their own kids.

  • Sue

    first of all the video is quite fuzzy and it is not clear that there is any abuse. I don’t think there is a parent out there if they tell the truth who has not picked thier child up by one arm. Dragging was a bit much when she was seen moving a child by both arms. Throwing the towel when it more like a toss? Words can do so much harm.

  • Terry

    It’s bullying and abuse. She was abusive to more than one child. She obviously don’t have the patience to work with children. I did not see any of the children misbehaving or causing a disturbance.

  • Sue Bedard Yankanich

    As a former Head Start teacher and private nanny I would say this is abuse. The worker might not have intentionally harmed the child but an adult should know that dragging a child by the arm can sprain or even dislocate the childs shoulder. This was NO accident the child was willfully picked up by he arm, causing an injury.

  • Mike

    This was abuse…period…I don’t care what the child did or didn’t do, the worker had no right picking her up by her arm and dragging her across the room. I have to wander about her supervisors as well I would hope that they could see that their employee seemed to be aggravated this day and had a talk with her before something like this happened?

  • brainstation parent

    My son attends this daycare. Not all parents have family or friends to watch their children, as in my case! The owners of this daycare have maximum security and this woman was fired immediately after being caught! Tge daycare owner then took the time out of her own day to sit down and call EVERY parent at this daycare! Having worked for the state at one time, I know that this is considered child abuse and im appalled that they chose not to do anything about it. Im also quite upset that the lovely owners of this daycare have to bare the burden of false accusations and criticism when they really do love every single one of the children at the daycare. They know every child inside and out, their parents names, their favorite things, their allergies without having to look at a paper, etc. This daycare is one of the BEST in jefferson county!

  • Melissa

    This woman has NO business taking care of children, she obviously cant handle it. She sprained a 2 year old’s arm and the claim is “unsubstantiated”…that is OUTRAGEOUS.

    • harlancc

      The owners hired someone who does not have any coursework in Child Development. They trained her “on the job” and she doesn’t know anything about young children. The owners like to hire someone who’s young and ignorant since they won’t have to worry that the worker will notice that the center is not in compliance. The owners think that “ignorance is bliss” and they hire their workers based on how “obedient” they seem to be and how effective they are at “maintaining classrom discipline”. The owners like it when the two year olds will sit in a circle for story time. They like it when the two year olds sit still like potted plants. That’s what the owners call “maintaining classroom discipline.” Like I said before, ultimately this is all about the greed of the owners.

  • Brian

    When my youngest daughter was a baby my oldest daughter grabbed her arm and tried to pull her and her arm was dislocated. So that little boy was lucky nothing happened to him. But I feel sorry for that little girl if that was my kid that women would have to look over her shoulder every day that is abuse. The people who decided that was not abuse are f***ing Disgrace.

  • Alabama Daycare Pro

    It’s ultimately the owners fault. They expect the workers to manage seven two year olds alone and sometimes they’ll assign the worker as many as ten two year olds. That’s a staggering amount of responsibility especially since they’re potty training. The owners probably have already reprimanded the day care worker for not “sticking to a schedule”. The owners probably have already scolded the worker for not keeping an accurage “potty training log”. The owners pile on six hours of work to be completed in a four hour shift. That’ how it is. On top of the four hour shift and two hours of “off the clock” mopping and cleaning, the day care worker has to use time at home to plan the activities for the next day. It’s all about the owners being really greedy and when things go wrong, they blame it on the lowly day care worker.

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