On December 17, 2018, a caregiver at a McKinney, Texas, Montessori School physically restrained and abused a four-year-old child in her care. The caregiver pinned the child down by placing all her weight from her knees onto his feet. She proceeded to restrain him by crossing his arms together and holding them back. She then slapped him across the face. This was all caught on camera.
This Caregiver’s Actions Broke the Law in Several Ways.
Minimum daycare standards put in place by the state of Texas say:
1. Caregivers and employees of daycare centers must not physically abuse a child.
2. Caregivers and employees of daycare centers must not physically restrain a child.
3. Daycare centers must immediately terminate caregivers and employees if they are physically abusive toward children.
4. Daycare centers must report all incidents involving serious injury to children to the Department of Family and Protective Service.
5. Daycare centers must complete incident reports on all incidents involving injuries to children.
In the time that this happened, another caregiver pleaded with the abuser, asking her to release the child into her care. She refused. The mother, who also worked at the school, then saw this abuse and attempted to pull her child from the abusive caregiver. Eventually, she was able to get her son back; but he was hurt in several ways. The child’s mother immediately went to the director’s office but was brushed off—they did not seem to think this abuse was noteworthy.
How the Button Law Firm Helped
This caregiver blatantly violated the standards put in place by the state, and the school continued to employ the caregiver and allowed her to continue to watch other children who attended the facility.
This not only showed the school’s disregard for the events that took place that day, but it also showed that they were allowing other children to potentially be harmed by this caregiver. The standards that the state of Texas has put in place are there to prevent these types of things from happening; the school needed to be held accountable.
The parents of this child were upset by the actions that took place that day and the childcare center’s poor handling of the situation. They knew something had to be done. They contacted our firm, knowing that we specialize in daycare and school abuse cases, and we immediately went to work to hold this childcare facility accountable.
This facility had already had citations, one of them being from a family we previously represented. We were familiar with this facility’s disregard for standard safety procedures.
After pursuing this case, our daycare injury attorneys were able to reach a settlement with the daycare. That settlement included:
- Justice for the child after the abuse he endured. This included physical abuse as well as emotional and psychological abuse.
- Compensation for mental anguish—as this child has dealt with and will deal with a great deal of stress from being in this situation.
Children who experience abuse often face years of trauma, potentially into adulthood if left untreated, which is why we pursued compensation for the therapy this young child would need for years to come.
In addition to the compensation the family received, the Montessori school eventually shut its doors, which helped bring closure to the family whose child was harmed. Too many children have been harmed by the neglectful and abusive staff in this school, and the school’s inaction was unacceptable. This closure was one step in stopping abusive institutions from continuing to harm children in their care, making the McKinney community a little bit safer.