Two Missouri parents are suing the Zion Lutheran Learning Center and several of its employees after their 4-year-old daughter was tied up with duct tape for misbehaving, reports KSDK.
Joseph Day told the news station that in March, his daughter began talking to him and his wife about an incident that took place at the daycare. When she mentioned duct tape, which her parents had never heard her say before, the worried parents asked her to explain what happened.
“The only reason we knew was because she started using the words duct tape. It’s not a word familiar to her vocabulary…That’s when she said he tied my feet up and I tried to walk, but fell over and the class laughed at me.”
The parents called the daycare center with their concerns, and were surprised to learn that the center was already aware of the incident, which happened two weeks before. A teacher who was filling in for a classroom’s regular teacher allegedly “hogtied” the little girl, taping her legs together when she wouldn’t stop running around during nap time.
‘“It’s shocking. It’s frustrating. You’re just in disbelief that they (the administrators) could fail you as well,” Mr. Day told KSDK.
The parents are now suing the daycare center and its employees.
Clayton-based attorney Jeremy Hollingshead says the man suspected of the abuse still works at the school.
“Whether they knew something before that could’ve protected the Days’ child, they definitely know now and they still continue to employ him.”
The school said in statement that “the teacher was disciplined by the school’s administrator in accordance with the school’s personnel policies and procedures.” The teacher also had to “undergo professional re-training in handling disruptive children.”
The school claims it reported the incident to the Child Abuse Hotline, the State Licensing Agency and the St. Louis County Police. The learning center says that all agencies investigated the incident and found that no abuse took place.
“As a school, we are confident that we have taken necessary and appropriate measures to prevent any like or similar conduct. Zion Lutheran Preschool will continue to provide a school that is safe and caring.”
Hollingshead told the news station that what happened to the Day’s little girl is a example of the challenges in ensuring proper treatment at childcare facilities that are not bound by state regulations.
Feature photo: KSDK video screenshot