Daycare teacher talking to toddler using improper discipline methodsIn December 2021, a 2-year-old boy was inappropriately disciplined by a daycare worker in Dallas. The boy was picked up by the arm, isolated from the rest of the children, and had food withheld with him as a form of punishment. The toddler’s mom decided to watch the daycare’s live stream and was horrified when she observed the daycare workers ignore her son when he asked for food and water, pushed his head aggressively into a pillow, and grabbed the toddler by one arm to move him from a table.

When the little boy’s mother spoke with workers about the incident, they admitted to wrongfully disciplining the toddler. She then contacted our knowledgeable Dallas daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm to hold the daycare accountable for the abusive treatment that her son experienced. She was able to cover medical expenses and ongoing resources to help her young son move forward, thanks to the settlement secured by The Button Law Firm team.

How This Dallas Daycare Ignored Texas Discipline Standards

The state of Texas clearly outlines safety standards for all operating daycare centers and childcare facilities, including age-appropriate discipline methods. All caregivers in Texas are required to use the following discipline tactics when a child misbehaves:

  • Individualized and consistent methods
  • Age-appropriate methods that a child can understand
  • Teaching the child acceptable behavior and self-control
  • Using praise and encouragement of good behavior
  • Reminding a child of behavior expectations using clear, positive statements
  • Redirecting behavior by using positive statements
  • When needed, using brief supervised separation or time out from the group for no longer than one minute per year of the child’s age

Unfortunately, this daycare worker in Dallas ignored the state’s minimum standards by using the following prohibited forms of punishment on the toddler:

  • Corporal punishment or threats of corporal punishment, which include rapping, thumping, popping, yanking, and flicking a child
  • Punishment associated with food, naps, or toilet training
  • Grabbing or pulling a child
  • Humiliating, ridiculing, rejecting, or yelling at a child
  • Withholding active play or keeping a child who misbehaves inside during recess or playground time 

The Dallas daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm go into more detail about why these are prohibited punishments at daycare centers in this video.

In addition to using prohibited punishments, an investigation by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Child-Care Licensing Division and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services revealed this Dallas daycare had a systematic disregard for the state’s minimum standards for childcare. Citations included:

  • Failing to ensure no child was neglected, abused, or exploited in their care
  • Allowing a toddler to walk around with a bottle when safety laws prohibit this behavior
  • Failing to serve food on a plate or napkin for children

The Dallas daycare center also had numerous safety violations, even in the year following this incident.

How The Button Law Firm Helped This Family Move Forward

As one can imagine, the 2-year-old boy in this case suffered significant psychological abuse from the abusive treatment that he experienced at the Dallas daycare center. The boy’s experienced behavior changes from frequent outburst to instinctively ducking his head as if he was going to be hit when approached by an adult, and yelling “don’t hit me” in his sleep. He was treated by two different doctors, one who diagnosed the 2-year-old with post-traumatic stress disorder preschool subtype. The doctors recommended ongoing play therapy to help him process the trauma and heal.

The boy’s mother was also forced to resign from her job in order to help her son seek treatment and continue his recovery journey.

The Dallas daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm fought for this family and held the daycare center accountable for the inappropriate discipline methods responsible for this boy’s trauma. The little boy and his mom received monetary compensation to cover medical expenses and provide necessary resources to help the toddler heal.

How The Button Law Firm Can Help Your Family with a Daycare Injury Claim

If your child was abused or neglected when caregivers used inappropriate or prohibited discipline tactics at a daycare center, contact our knowledgeable Dallas daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm. We are experienced in working on cases involving children, like this case where a young boy was hurt because of negligent daycare workers. Our attorneys will listen to you and your child to assess the situation and determine how a daycare failed to protect your child in its care. Our attorneys at The Button Law Firm are recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you after a traumatizing incident involving your child. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Call us at 214-699-4409 or fill out the contact form below for a free consultation.

Russell Button
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Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.

DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients' cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.