Earlier this month, a Georgia mother was shocked to see two teachers at her child’s preschool teachers allegedly abusing other students in the classroom. She had logged into a livestream offered by the school to check on her child, only to witness a teacher allegedly stepping on one child’s hand and kneeing another child in the back.
The mother reported another teacher was on all fours, close to a child’s face. The teacher allegedly poked the child in the forehead, who was kneed in the back by the other teacher only moments earlier.
After witnessing the alleged abuse, the mother raced to the school to check on her child and demanded to see the entire video. The parents spoke with school administrators and were shocked to find the school did not appear to have policies and procedures in place on how to handle incidents of abuse like the ones she witnessed on the livestream footage.
The mother told an Atlanta-area television station she refused to leave the school until the two teachers were removed from the classroom. The teachers have since been dismissed and charged with child cruelty by a local police department.
How can these environments harm other children?
The child of the mother who reported the abuse to the school did not appear to be harmed in the video, but the mother said in hindsight that her child’s behavior has changed in a way that has made her believe the abuse may have been ongoing.
The mother recalled her child didn’t want to go school, didn’t like the teachers, and cried on the way to school.
This reluctance to go to daycare or preschool can be a sign of neglect or abuse. Other behavior changes, like aggression toward parents or siblings, becoming clingy, fearful, shy, or withdrawn, can also be a sign of neglect or abuse. Parents should be vigilant for these types of behavioral changes, as that could indicate cause for concern.
How Do Incidents Like This Happen?
Commonly, we see incidents like this happen when daycares do not properly train or supervise their staff, do not perform full background check their employees, overwork the employees they have, or fail to put adequate policies and procedures in place to discipline caregivers for not following procedures.
These incidents can be prevented, so long as the daycare is putting the time and money into hiring qualified people and properly training their staff.
What Can Be Done to Stop This?
Daycares can stop this by making sure they are hiring qualified people that are educated in childcare and the right temperament to care for children. They must also consistently train staff on how to treat children. Before placing children in the care of an employee, they must be certain the employee is trained on safety procedures and the state’s requirements for childcare. Daycare directors and owners are responsible for ensuring that the teachers or caregivers are following procedures. When employees are falling short of meeting expectations, proper disciplinary action must be taken.
In many states, including here in Texas, daycares and their caregivers are required to:
- Interact with children in a positive manner
- Ensure children are kept safe in their care
- Ensure discipline is appropriate for the child’s level of understanding
- Use positive methods of discipline that do not include any harsh, cruel, or unusual treatment of a child.
How Can the Button Law Firm Help?
It’s important that you find a law firm that understands the complexities of a childcare abuse and neglect case. These cases can get complicated, as they require reporting incidents to the state, investigations into the daycare, making a claim against the daycare, and getting treatment for the child or children who were harmed.
If your child was harmed while at daycare or preschool, and you have further questions about holding the daycare accountable, reach out to our experienced legal team. We are here to help you and your family find justice to keep moving forward in life.