There are definitely daycare horror stories of abuse and dangerous decisions made by staff that send chills down our spines, but for the most part those are isolated incidents that make headlines because they're so outrageous. It's the smaller, less noticeable things people in charge of children do of which we may never be aware that worry me even more.
Take this case out of Virginia in which two workers at Heavenly Haven daycare center have been fired after pictures of children were posted on Instagram with cruel remarks. According to WAVY, mom Melissa Jordan was browsing online when she was shocked to see a picture of her 3-year-old son Ethan sitting in a high chair. In it, he looks sad and despondent. Across the picture employee Jena Ferrel, who went by the user name "mz_oneofakind," wrote: "I'm sick of this SHIT."
Jordan was understandably shocked and upset. She told the station:
I don't know why he is sitting in a highchair at 3 years old. I don't know how long he's been in the highchair. He looks so pathetic and miserable. He looks so defeated in that picture.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the manager of the facility left a comment on Ethan's photo that read: "he is thinking cuz sure can't talk." His mother says Ethan has delayed speech development so this was likely a crack about that.
I was disgusted, and my feelings were hurt because they are making fun of Ethan because he isn't able to talk. They are making a joke out of him.
Ferrel also reportedly posted another picture of a child that compared his teeth to those of Mater in the movie Cars.
As horrid as the pictures are -- really, who thinks it's okay to do that? -- it's more disturbing to think what really went on in the daycare. If you're mean enough to mock a child online, how do you treat them in real life, and why was that 3-year-old in a high chair? Was he there regularly? What else has gone on that wasn't captured in pictures?
While it's vile that these children were made fun of in a public forum, the good news is that at least it alerted parents to what may have been going on when their children were out of their sight. An investigation has been launched, and hopefully action will be taken.
Do you worry about what goes on when your child is in the care of others?
Image via WAVY/YouTube