Another Daycare Worker Instagrams Her Abusive Stupidity

shutterstock_104403209__1382789068_142.196.156.251I don’t know if I am more disturbed that daycare workers are treating children horribly or that they are too stupid to realize they should keep the images of their abuse off Instagram. I’m obviously more disturbed by the former but the latter is pretty shocking.

A 24-year-old Missouri daycare center assistant tied a 2-year-old child to a cot when she refused to nap. The toddler was tied to the cot by a blanket that was wrapped around her waist. She was then photographed, and the photo was posted to Instagram with this caption:

“This is what happens when you piss me off during nap time! Get tied to your cot!”

The assistant was working together with a teacher, who said she knew about the toddler being tied to the cot, but wasn’t aware an image was taken and posted to social media. The teacher also said the toddler has a history of being resistant to napping, that she easily got out of the restraint, and that she was giggling about it. The assistant claims the blanket was not tight, and the child got out of it in about two minutes.

The assistant was fired and the teacher who was there with her when the incident happened was “placed under improvement status.” The mom is suing the center – I’m not quite sure what that is going to accomplish. The center is still running but the state issued a “corrective action plan” which involves additional staff training and “specifically targeting how to handle children’s difficult behaviors as appropriate discipline.”

This disturbs me for many obvious reasons – the most prominent one is Don’t f-ing restrain my toddler. As someone who is totally claustrophobic because of a neighborhood bully who had a penchant for holding girls down – I think restraining a child at a young age can be really traumatic and damaging – no matter how they react at the time. Also – don’t take images of my child and post them to your social media accounts. I realize daycare center assistants don’t get paid a lot, but I don’t think that is too much to ask.

(photo: Stuart Miles/ Shutterstock)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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    • Lu

      I was a preschool assistant for 2 years while I worked on my degree (I now teach). I loved my job and love teaching even more I couldn’t imagine ever restraining a child in this manner, though I have had to momentarily restrain children when they were a danger to themselves, but this was only until they could be brought to an open area to continue their fit safely. Obviously this restraint did not involve tying them up! Simply holding them tightly while offering reassurance of his/her safety. Those moments were scary for me, the child, and the other children in my classroom. This is simply a 2 year old being 2. I mean THEY ARE TWO YEAR OLDS. The teacher should also have been fired.

    • Andrea

      I think they should continue posting their stupidity. That was they can be named, shamed, and punished.

      • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

        Good point.

      • noelle 02

        I agree. There was a teacher in the three year old room at the daycare center I worked in during high school to save money for college who would sit on one little girl to get her to lay still and fall asleep. Everyone knew about it and didn’t seem to think anything was wrong. I spoke to the director who proceeded to move me to a different room. When I became a parent, I realized how unbelievably wrong I was not to have told the parent of the child. These things need to be public knowledge, not the hidden secrets that make many of us mistrust daycare centers.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I really, truly feel for parents with kids in daycare. It’s great when you find a daycare you love and trust, but the whole process is scary and expensive and so hard for parents. UGH.

    • Kel

      The teacher wasn’t also fired?!

      “The teacher also said the toddler has a history of being resistant to napping, that she easily got out of the restraint, and that she was giggling about it.”

      Oh, right. So that makes it okay. Sure.

      • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

        Right? I love how the teacher felt compelled to add that bit.

      • LiteBrite

        And this: “The assistant was working together with a teacher, who said she knew
        about the toddler being tied to the cot, but wasn’t aware an image was
        taken and posted to social media.”

        Right. Because the first part is okay. The second is not?

        I agree, the teacher should have been fired too.

    • Shelley

      When one of our daughter’s was barely two, we discovered quite by accident that two of her daycare teachers forced her to walk barefoot across hot pavement- about 75 feet, in the TN June heat, to teach her to keep her shoes on. More than once. Teachers who came to our child’s assistance were threatened with their jobs if they talked about it. After we did find out about it, the state intervened, but then, thanks to the church’s (a church-run preschool) lawyer they reopened- with a top-star rating from the state. The church fired all the teachers who made statements to the police on our behalf- of course, it wasn’t for their statements- it was for some other minor infraction that had been condoned until then. The investigation uncovered, among other things, photos of infants being covered with blankets from head to toe in swings to get them to sleep. I think a lot of things go on that parents would be horrified to learn about. I had such a hard time dropping my child off at daycare before we discovered this because she would cry so much to be left there. I thought it was simply separation anxiety- never in my wildest fears did I think abuse. I thought we were safe because they had cameras in the classrooms. Turns out they would pinch my child’s fingers between tables to punish her without it being obvious on camera. They also put her in time-out for HOURS- out of sight of the camera- even though it should have only been one minute per year of age. This led directly to us becoming a one-income family and contributed to our decision to homeschool. For the average child- no one cares more about their well-being and safety than their parents.

      • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

        That is awful.

      • Jessie

        That is a big glass of nope. Goddess bless, that is horrid. I’m glad you got your baby out of there, but it’s a shame the place wasn’t shut down. Hard to believe that a church-run preschool would think that their God or Jesus would like them abusing children.

    • Annona

      That’s just stupid and gross. Even if the child was giggling, which I doubt, restraining someone like that against their will is not cool, and neither is documenting your stupidity on social media. (Don’t get me started, AGAIN, on how social media is destroying the social contract that holds polite society together.) It’s not hard, people. How about, if you don’t like kids, don’t go work at a daycare?

    • MeLuRe

      Why don’t people talk about positive daycare experieces? I have worked at an after school program for 7 years, after graduating from college with a BA in Child Development. Many children in my program never want to leave when their parents come pick them up to go home. No one seems to write about that. Parents need to realize that if they leave their child with someone who is cheaply paid, inexperienced, and uneducated, they are going to get less than quality care.

      • Justme

        I worked day-care when I was in college because it was great hours and easy money. It also gave me great training as I was studying to become a teacher. And apparently…I was good at it, too. I just went to the Eagle Scout ceremony for a boy who I took care of at day-care when he was in elementary school.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        We have talked about that a couple of times on here, but it’s usually commenters responding that they love their daycare workers even though the article is a terrifying case of daycare abuse or something like that. I worked in afterschool programs for years and am now a teacher, so I see the positive, too. :)

      • noelle 02

        You have a good point. I love that many daycares now livestream so parents can watch their kids from wherever. That means there is more accountability and the parents can trust that their kids are in good hands. There are many great daycare centers and workers, but the bad ones shine a bad light on the good, which is quite unfair. My niece and nephew are in a great center and thriving. Even during the summer when SIL (a teacher) is home, they go to “school” twice a week for half days because they miss their friends and teachers so much.

      • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

        I love my kid’s daycare. It’s a wonderful, warm place with lots of natural light and outdoor space, art activities, creative crafts, etc etc, and my kid thrives there. The food is better than anything I can make, it’s mostly organic and they have a separate vegetarian menu that’s not just ‘here have some extra broccoli’, but is a real menu (if the meat-eating kids are having spaghetti and meatballs, the veg kids get spaghetti and wheatballs). I love how innovative the staff are with what they do with the kids. She loves it, I love knowing that she’s safe and happy and has good friends. I believe that while myself and my wife are the most important teachers for her, there are lots of other adults in her life that have valuable things to teach her as well, and I want her to know she can trust and learn from other people, not just us.

        It’s expensive (we get a subsidy since we both work for non-profits, but it’s still pricey) and the waitlist was long. But I understand that good people need to be fairly paid, and the staff are good people who love being there – most have been with the centre for at least 5 years, many for over 10. To me, that says it’s a good place to work, which is important to me.

    • Jessica Bergeron

      I think incidents like these highlight the importance of professionalizing early childhood education/care. Teachers for birth to three year olds should be getting livable wages to provide high quality, certified care for our most vulnerable aged children at a time when they are in crucial stage of their development. Teachers for all ages need continuing professional development that teaches them to be responsive to children as well as interact with them to encourage language development. Under no circumstances should people who are underprepared or lack proper skills be in charge; but the field is perceived as glorified babysitting in large group settings. Please support policies and legislators who promote early childhood education initiatives and help businesses and philanthropic communities understand that an investment in early childhood education is an investment in our future. Visit organizations like Ounce of Prevention or Too Small to Fail for more information.

      • Blueathena623

        Haha — I read this comment without looking at the poster and thought “what an insightful comment, so smart”. And then I saw who wrote it. Yay Jessica! This is Libby by the way.

    • Kelby Johnson

      My son was in a day care that was run out of a couple’s home for a few months. In that few months, he got extremely attached to me and he really did not want to be left there. I never found out about anything happening to him there, but once he started protesting a lot, we pulled him out and I started working a different shift. I stayed home after my daughter was born, so she’s never been with anyone but me and grandparents.

      • pontificatrix

        I had a similar experience with the first day care we tried – two months and my daughter was still crying at dropoff and pickup (many other children there also had that problem). We switched to a different, much smaller center with very warm and loving teachers who all have higher degrees in child development and Montessori training, where she acclimated in 3 days – no more tears either at dropoff or pickup after that, neither for my children nor for any other kid I saw there in the 3 years she has been going there.
        I think paying attention to your child’s cues can tell you a lot of what you need to know about your day care provider.

    • Jessie

      I’d sue the damn place, too. I hope I’d sue them out of fucking business. And then I’d try to sue them one more time…..

    • Chrissy

      Unless a child is in immediate danger of hurting themselves, don’t restrain them. How hard is that? I work at an agency (not a daycare, we’re a foster care agency) where we learn how to restrain as part of Crisis Intervention training… but we never use it because we have a full on DO NOT RESTRAIN COME HELL OR HIGH WATER policy, which I think should be written on hundreds of pages and thrown at any child care “professional” who does this type of nonsense. Like, okay, if a kid has somehow found a knife and is waving it around and refuses to stop and nearly stabs their eye and keeps trying to get it when you take it away, I can see how restraining the kid might be necessary. That’s really the only type of situation in which I think it would be okay and of course the parents should be called IMMEDIATELY, none of this LET”S HIDE IT nonsense. And even THEN it’s more like hugging and not like TYING A CHILD TO AN OBJECT LIKE A PUPPY.

      Honestly. though, I’m glad they’re stupid enough to post these things since it means they get caught and who knows how many of these things may have happened/continued to happen to this little girl if the assistant hadn’t posted it.