The Sacramento Bee reports that a woman who worked at an Oceanside childcare facility has been banned from ever working with children again. The ban was the result of evidence that showed that she punished preschoolers by locking them in a dark closet. The report details that the woman once barricaded the closet with her body to prevent a child from getting out. According to her attorney, the entire case is a misunderstanding. Surveillance camera footage, however, shows her shutting children in a supply closet.
Abuse and Daycare
Daycare workers sometimes don’t commit acts of abuse that are easy to recognize. In fact, many cases of daycare abuse are actually cases of overly strict and overly severe discipline on the part of one of the daycare workers. While parenting theories differ about how children should be disciplined, daycare workers do not have the right to decide for children and parents that extremely harsh disciplinary methods are appropriate. Locking a child in a closet is most certainly psychologically abusive, particularly if they are barricaded from being able to get out.
This case is still up in the air, but the woman is currently banned from ever working with children again. This case is also particularly frustrating in its implications. When a child is struck or sexually abused, there are usually physical signs that this has occurred and a physician can document them as evidence of the abuse. Of course, the parents will generally be aware of the abuse when they see bruises and other injuries on their child.
Psychologically abusive daycare workers, however, leave scars that are invisible but sometimes run much deeper than physical scars. For children, the idea of being trapped and abandoned is absolutely terrifying. This sort of discipline, obviously, has absolutely no place in a professional daycare center, nor do the types of people who have the inclination to dispense it.
Contacting an Attorney
If you have a child in daycare, it’s important that you’re listening to your kids – stopping daycare abuse, in fact, oftentimes starts with this – and that you take what they have to say seriously. It’s also important that you take advantage of other resources you have available to you. In this case, for example, surveillance footage provided evidence. If you contacted an attorney about the matter, they would most certainly want the surveillance footage for their own investigation and they would use it to back up your case, increasing your chances of winning a lawsuit.