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Parents and Guardians Forum>DC Provider Slapped My 5 Year Old In The Face...
cparkerbanks 11:34 AM 10-30-2012
In a wait and see mode right now, and looking for other opinions:
Yesterday I arrive to pick up my Peanut from after Pre-K care. His ear is bright flaming red and slightly swollen. I ask very casually what happened. The Director overheard me, as she was at the counter prepping paperwork, and says, "Apparently he came in that way." However, at the same time my Peanut says, "a teacher hit me". I don't freak out yet, as I realize that my wee one is not always the most articulate story teller, and it is chaos at the front counter with parents signing children out. (I am initially off put by the Directors quick comment though, as I rarely see her- she is always hiding in her office- so how does she know he came in that way? I KNOW he did not.)
I pull peanut to the side to get more information and he says:
He was in the "Baby Room" with other kids and they weren't supposed to be playing with toys. Another boy picked up a dog toy, and he took it to put it back when the "teacher" saw him with it and slapped him in the face and ear. He then says he told her he was just putting the toy back and she said she was sorry.
I then walk back up to the Director and mention that my Peanut says a teacher hit him. She doesn't not even look at either of us and says, "A teacher hit you, who was it?" My little one says "I don't know her name." (She is an afternoon employee, and he is rarely with her, so why would he KNOW her name?" the Director says- in the most condescending tone I can covey through text, "Uh huh, you don't know her name."
It was just very dismissive of her.
I told her I wasn't going to be so dismissive about it and I would get the whole story from him that night. (I said it as nicely as I could. )
So last night he tells my husband and I, independently on four different recaps of the story, the exact same story every time. The "teacher" hit him, open handed, on the ear when she thought he was playing with the toy. He told her he was putting it back and she apologized. He then said everyone else was being bad in class, but not him and he got to watch a movie. (I can't help but wonder if a teacher was trying to make up to him for it).
This morning my husband goes in to talk to the Director, because he knows her attitude incenses me and I will probably over react.
She asks if Peanut can point out the teacher than did it, and he says that yes he can. She says she will figure out what happened.
I just got a call from the owner (because I called his old DayCare- I am actually really close with them, and it is owned by the same people. She prompted the call from the owner on my behalf.)
The owner tried to reassure me that she would help figure out what happened. I was very calm on the phone and explained that I was not trying to blow something out of proportion, but I would like a serious inquiry into what happened. I explained that the Director's dismissive attitude left me concerned that it would be investigated appropriately. I also asked if there was any form of documentation on which room and which teacher my child was with on a daily basis (as I know they can get shuffled around). She could not tell me if there was, but promised she would get involved. However, she did ask, "But the teacher apologized?" Does that make it ok? His ear is fine now- so there is no lasting evidence that this took place, only his story. He did describe her very well though, her skin color, her hair color, that she was skinny.
If this woman did slap my child...it's not like she is going to admit it! What do I do if the resolution is..."Oh, she bumped into him?"
Even Peanut thinks it was an accident- but from his conversation it seems like he thinks it was more of an accident because she slapped the WRONG child...he was putting the toy back where it went. (And at this age....nearly anything that is forgivable is an accident. i.e Mom, I threw the whole roll of TP in the toilet. It was an accident. ect)
We had a discussion last night that it is not ok to hit, or be hit, and anyone that hits him he should tell Mom and Dad. Ugggh. What to do?
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Michael 11:57 AM 10-30-2012
Welcome to the Daycare.com Forum! I upgraded your status. You can post freely now.
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SilverSabre25 12:22 PM 10-30-2012
Gosh, my first instinct is to say that the fact that they were in the baby room and not supposed to play with the toys is a big problem in and of itself! Why were they there? For how long?

Also, the slap is unforgiveable and inexcusable. A call to licensing is in order.

Finally, I would not send my child back where he got slapped unless the person that did it was fired...and I would not send my child back where I felt my concerns were being brushed off, or where the director talks condescendingly to a child who just accused a teacher of hitting him!

And the baby room thing bothers me too...no child is going to be in a room full of toys (baby toys or not!) and be able to resist the urge to play with them, especially if they are there for any length of time. And I don't know of a single reason why 5 year olds should, as a group, be in a baby room.
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Blackcat31 12:32 PM 10-30-2012
Does the center have video cameras by chance?

I also wouldn't be so dismissive of a 5 year old. That is plenty old enough to tell a recap of what happened.

I am also thinking that if it was an "accident" and it actually left his face and ear red, why in the world is tehre not an incident or accident report filled out by the teacher so you have it? In most centers, ANYTHING that happens that leaves marks on a child should be recorded and documented.

Same goes for if he arrived with a red face/ear like director said. In that case the center should document so the parent doesn't come back and blame the center. So failure to document for either story makes this whole thing sound "off" to me.

I would absolutely report this to licensing. Hope your little guy is ok!
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sharlan 12:36 PM 10-30-2012
A slap in a daycare setting is not right. A slap to the side of the face and ear, leaving a mark is unexcusable. I would be concerned about possible damage to the eardrum.

The "teacher" who did this needs to be severely disciplined.

I also agree with silver and black.
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Crystal 01:19 PM 10-30-2012
First....this needs to be reported to your local licensing authority.

Second....if there are video cameras in the center, I would DEMAND a copy of the days events. If they happened to "lose" that particular footage, there is a LOT of explaining to do.

Third....as mother.....that "teacher" might be seeing the backside of my hand for touching my child in such a way.....even if that meant I got arrested.

CALL LICENSING NOW....REMOVE YOUR CHILD NOW......YOU ARE NOT OVERREACTING.....
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cparkerbanks 01:26 PM 10-30-2012
Thank you for your quick responses. You have echoed my sentiments.
My main issues are (beyond the foremost fact that it even happened)
1. The dismissive attitude of the director. My husband spoke with her on my behalf this a.m. because she has never been that way with him. She is all bright smiles and cheer with him. That is an ongoing and seperate issue, but one that does exist. Frankly, I would have made a scene ad made matters worse with a further dislay of dismissive attitude.
2. Why do you not know which caretaker my child was with? Just because he does not know her name does not mean it can be ignored. He described her too. For me, it should be easy to figure out which woman did it.
3. I understand getting her side if the "story".... But where does that leave us really?
Yep, a call into licensing is happening.....and a new center. Really sad though, because other than this one issue, he has LOVED it.
My husband wants to report to the Sherriffs office too. There is no real evidence (I still don't even have a name), just so that there is a complaint on record.
My concern is also for future children. A woman that thinks its ok to slap a child in the face should no longer work with children.
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Heidi 01:36 PM 10-30-2012
Originally Posted by Crystal:
First....this needs to be reported to your local licensing authority.

Second....if there are video cameras in the center, I would DEMAND a copy of the days events. If they happened to "lose" that particular footage, there is a LOT of explaining to do.

Third....as mother.....that "teacher" might be seeing the backside of my hand for touching my child in such a way.....even if that meant I got arrested.

CALL LICENSING NOW....REMOVE YOUR CHILD NOW......YOU ARE NOT OVERREACTING.....


Honestly, you know your child. Some children concoct stories, or misinterpret things. You know that this is highly unlikely with your child.

Your little one has an opportunity to learn that NO ONE is going to hurt him and get away with it. Try not to show your rage, just be as matter-of -fact as possible. "It's not okay for people to hurt you, and because I am your mother and I love you (or parents-we love you), we will make sure this person gets in trouble. THANK YOU so much for telling us what happened. You handled it just right!"

You know, if it's wierd to me that this teacher didn't go to the director and said "OMG, the worst thing just happened!" and make up a cover story, like "I accidently crashed into him" or something. She had to know that a child that age would tell someone.
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itlw8 01:41 PM 10-30-2012
Please tell us you took a picture of it. Even if you did not call licensing NOW and report exactly what you said to us. That is abuse. Plain and simple

Unless that person is gone I would not return but even if she is fired I doubt I would feel completely safe. The director tried to cover it up.

The Sheriffs office is NOT the way to go... You call the hotline and report it they will call CPS That is the way this needs to be handled.
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SunshineMama 02:07 PM 10-30-2012
If I were in your shoes I would immediately call licensing and remove my child until action was taken, or until I switched centers. In my opinion, yes, a 5 year old can concoct stories, but you also had physical evidence. A 5 year old is perfectly capable of retelling a story.

When I was 5 in kindergarten, my bus driver slapped me on my bottom. I went home and told my mom that the bus driver "spanked" me. My mom called the school and the principal had me retell the story, and he apologized. But, nothing was done to the bus driver, and I had to face him every day for the rest of the school year. It was embarassing and made me feel bad. Please stand up for your child, no one has a right to put their hands on your child like that.
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cparkerbanks 07:06 AM 10-31-2012
Thank you everyone, this is the first time I have ever had to deal with something of this nature. As my son has just begun "partial" public school, I imagine it was a good trial run to the things that can happen during scholastic years.
I wanted to give everyone an update. Yesterday my husband and I had a meeting with the director. We reviewed the tape (yes, cameras!) and I watched it from three different angles. It does appear as though it was an accident. This teacher (whom I met and was in tears and very apologetic) was simply talking with her hands (I understand, I do this too) and hit Peanut in the ear. Albeit hard enough to cause some redness and slight swelling. They then put ice on his ear. All in all, things are alright and the school did handle this in a way I was happy. My only concern is that an accident report was not filled out. (I have signed umpteen reports due to children playing rough and being clumsy, so I can't help but think this teacher may have been concerned about my reaction to the incident, or she just wasn't thinking). Either way, the school now understands that we take an extreme interest in our son and his interactions there- and that is good for them to know.
The director and I have a lengthy discussion over our "differing" personalities and how I am often off put by her tone (again- this is not new, she and I haven't gone round and round or anything....but there has been a tension between us due to this personality difference)- and I think we have reached a level of respect.
In terms of Peanut's story, it was 100% accurate. He is a very literal child...and he told his story very literally- but the context changed after seeing the video. Yes, there was a toy involved and he was wrongly accused of playing with it. However, the ear hit happened moments later, as the teacher was walking back to tell him he could go play. He told the story frame by frame correctly, however, as several moments had passed, the toy situation appeared to be coincidental, and not a punishment of any kind, but truly an accident.
Last night, even though I saw the video with my own eyes, I still had a conversation with Peanut to insure he was happy at the school. I asked him if he thought the teacher that hit him was mean and he said no, he rarely sees her, but he likes her enough. I have to believe that if my 5 year old thought there was an injustice done to him he would surely mention that he did not like that teacher. (He loves to tell me how I am not his friend anymore when I will not relent to a piece of candy! )
We also took this opportunity to explain that NO ONE at school can hit him or spank him. That he should always tell us, even if he was not listening and getting in trouble. That he will not be in trouble with Mom and Dad, and that he should tell the director and Mom and Dad right away.
A good learning experience for us all.
I am thankful for my husbands level head, which kept assuring me to remain calm and not go crazy on everyone until I had all the facts. Whew. Hard not to freak out though.
Thanks again for all of your quick responses- thankfully this time everything is ok.
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itlw8 07:56 AM 10-31-2012
Thanks for posting this. It shows how cameras protect the child and protect the teacher and center.
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Cat Herder 08:00 AM 10-31-2012
Thank you for the update!!!

You have no idea how many providers days you have made.
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SilverSabre25 08:02 AM 10-31-2012
I'm so glad that everything worked out okay!
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Willow 08:13 AM 10-31-2012
There needs to be infinite trust in the the teachers and director your son spends his day with. If something happens, he needs to be able to tell them and be BELIEVED. They are all he has during the day. And they're going to treat him like that???

No.
Freaking.
Way.

To boot, if something happens, you need to be able to talk to them and have the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.

I would never never never continue sending my child somewhere with people who try to sweep everything under the rug. My child deserves better than that.

***BOTTOM LINE*** - If the teacher *genuinely* felt bad about what happened she would have been forthcoming right off the bat. If the director really cared about your son, you, or your family in general she would have dove into an intense investigation of such an accusation reassuring you she'd get to the bottom of it and appropriate actions taken if founded. She should have been shocked at concerned that someone like that could be working with the kids she's supposed to care for and the families who put food on her table.



If to get to the bottom of a situation, regardless of how benign it actually was:
1.) a teacher failed to report an (accidental or not) assault on a child
2.) after my son brought it to me the director implied he was a liar
3.) it takes my husband going in for the director to finally start investigating
4.) it takes the tapes for the director to admit anything even could have happened
5.) THEN the teacher owns what happened and admits it to more than just the child himself

That's bull on a procedural and ethical level in epic proportions.



There is no way I'd ever subject my child to another single day in the care of such people.

EVER.
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Willow 08:14 AM 10-31-2012
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
Thank you for the update!!!

You have no idea how many providers days you have made.

Not me!

I'm sorry but their response is the biggest load of honky I've heard in a long time!!!


As a parent I'd probably be just as mad as when I thought it was intentional!!!
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Cat Herder 08:27 AM 10-31-2012
Originally Posted by Willow:
Not me!

I'm sorry but their response is the biggest load of honky I've heard in a long time!!!


As a parent I'd probably be just as mad as when I thought it was intentional!!!
You are talking about the Director, though, right?

Sorry, I gave up on that topic a long time ago...

I meant the provider who was in tears and those like her.

Filling out and turning in accident reports often "requires approval". Being an employee is not often easy or black and white.
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Willow 09:12 AM 10-31-2012
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
You are talking about the Director, though, right?

Sorry, I gave up on that topic a long time ago...

I meant the provider who was in tears and those like her.

Filling out and turning in accident reports often "requires approval". Being an employee is not often easy or black and white.

Hmmmm......I guess I'd be willing to consider that lol

BUT - if I were a provider and something like that happened between a child and myself I'd be making sure the parents were notified regardless of whether the director signed off on it or not. I wouldn't work somewhere I was told to sweep injuries under the rug, especially ones inflicted on a child by me by mere accident.

If it was bad enough that the child needed an ice pack (treatment) the parents should absolutely been notified.


Not to mention- if the director wants to be such a sluff with just accidents what could they be attempting to cover up in the way of REAL incidents?? If they are so h*ll bent on keeping parents from knowing the truth about an honest mistake, how can one really expect them to respond to something serious???

All trust would be lost, and I could never send my child into the care of people I can't trust.
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Cat Herder 09:29 AM 10-31-2012
Originally Posted by Willow:
All trust would be lost, and I could never send my child into the care of people I can't trust.
Agreed!! That is why I opened my own family daycare.

Sadly, unless the owners are informed, the Director will never be held to task.

She will simply be continuing to get her annual bonuses due to "Outstanding Performance" proven by their "low" (documented) incident and complaint numbers.

I know how things should be but, sadly, also have seen way too much of how they really are.

Don't get me wrong, not all centers are bad. Just like home providers and public school administration, some are fantastic, others are not.
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familyschoolcare 09:53 AM 10-31-2012
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
You are talking about the Director, though, right?

Sorry, I gave up on that topic a long time ago...

I meant the provider who was in tears and those like her.

Filling out and turning in accident reports often "requires approval". Being an employee is not often easy or black and white.
When I worked at a center, the ouch reports had to signed by the director (the teacher incharge if the director was not on campus). It did not take long for me to realize that sometimes the forms would go missing, a parent would ask about something I wrote a report on saying they did not get the report. After a year are so I realized they only disappeared if the director herself was supposed to sign it. So for bigger things I started mentioning them at pick up and adding so if the ouch report is not on the sign in and out sheet then the director must still have it.
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JenNJ 10:37 AM 10-31-2012
I am so glad to hear it was an accident! Poor little guy!

I once knocked a kid into a wall with my butt. No lie! He was running inside (a no-no) and I turned to pick up a toy as I was telling him to use his walking feet. As soon as I said it, he ran into my butt as I was turning and he smashed right into a wall. I felt SOOOO awful! He cried and said he was sorry for running and I was crying saying I was sorry I hurt him. He had a large bruise on his face for a few days.

I can totally see how if he told the story (or even if I did) it could seem as if I punished him for running when in fact he just collided into me and the bounced off into the wall. I am so glad that things were cleared up and he is happy there!!
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Tags:bad providers, complaint, punishment, slapping
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