DHS

I’m not even sure where to start as I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on my blog yet. I’ll try to summarize, otherwise this post will go on and on and on.

A couple of weeks ago the main teacher and teaching assistant in Nadia’s room at the day school they attend were both fired. Nadia had actually moved from that one-year-old room to the two-year-old room a week or so before the firings occurred, so I was only really aware when a letter was sent home explaining suspected abuse by the teachers to the children in Nadia’s previous room. I was of course terrified, but the letter said if your child was directly involved the school director would have already spoken with your family in person. Since this hadn’t happened I assumed it didn’t involve Nadia. I mean, I was still very upset and scared, but I figured Nadia was in a new room, the other teachers had been fired, the situation was being handled, etc.

Last Friday morning a social worker from DHS (Department of Human Services) called and said she had reports of abuse to Nadia which took place at the school and needed to meet with Eric, me, and Nadia. I cried. I trusted these people with my precious baby. I had so many questions. I wanted answers.

Yesterday morning when I dropped off the girls at school I saw one of the administrators in the hall and asked if he had a minute. I expressed my surprise at the DHS call and that I wished they would have alerted me ahead of time. He apologized profusely.

Later yesterday morning the school director called and explained that she met with each involved family and couldn’t believe ours was somehow missed… Her and I spoke for an hour, she detailed what she knows at this time. I came away from the conversation feeling a lot more comfortable, not with what happened, but rather how it is being handled… They fired the teachers immediately, they filed police reports, they alerted DHS. I’m not sure what else I can ask for at this point.

Yesterday afternoon one of the DHS social workers assigned to this case came to my home and we chatted for maybe an hour. She was very sweet and personable. She explained that they are still in the fact gathering stage of their investigation, so what she knows at this point is still somewhat limited. Her focus with me yesterday was documenting my impressions of the school overall and the two teachers from Nadia’s room who were fired.

So what I know at this point is… (in random order from my brain)

  • All of the families in Nadia’s class are being interviewed, just as I was today, as well as all the staff at the school, and the two girls who were fired
  • It’s unclear at this point which children were directly involved, since obviously the children are too young to be interviewed
  • A full report from DHS will be provided to families at the end of July when the investigation is complete
  • A police report was filed, but for now the police are waiting for the findings from DHS, if abuse is found, the two girls fired will be charged with assault
  • The alleged abuse includes the pulling on and cracking of children’s toes as punishment for taking off their shoes, pouring water over children’s heads as punishment, and throwing balls at the children, hard enough to knock them over
  • They believe most occurrences took place in the gym, where cameras were not located, although cameras have now been added
  • They believe the girls were fired very shortly after the first incident, which was reported by another staff member

At this point I guess I just wait for the report. Of the two girls fired we and Nadia were very close to one of them, the lead teacher. Nadia appeared to love her, would only go to her each morning, cried if any of the other teachers took her from me. Basically Nadia was very attached to the lead teacher. I honestly can’t imagine or picture her doing any of these things to the children. If the allegations are true… well, I feel so betrayed. When I enrolled my children in this day school I felt I was making a good choice. Everyone I spoke with had only wonderful, positive things to say about this institution.

8 thoughts on “DHS

  1. OMG i feel sick to my stomach for you. We pulled our kids from their daycare because I had a bad feeling and then the staff started dropping like flies and the kids were all leaving the center. It ended up being that the owner sucks and I’m glad we are out, but not feeling that your kids could be safe is just an awful feeling! Hope things get better!

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  2. I am dreadfully sorry Nadia was exposed to this situation. I am glad the accusations are not nastier, that they are being carefully investigated, that the school acted at the first information, that termination AND the police were involved. As parents we all try so hard to ensure the safety of our children. Sometimes we fail anyway. SO be forgiving of your Not Knowing. Teaching children about ‘stranger danger’, and their rights about their own bodies is very hard. It remains a hard issue for children at all ages; and for adults. Remember the adults who qualify as members of MeToo were abused as adults and unable to stop what happened. Think of the gymnastics doctor and all who colluded with him, the University in S. CA doctor/rapist with college women. We all need to keep checking in with our children all our lives and all their ages; it is hard and uncomfortable and real.
    I am super proud of you for writing about this with the details because this post may save another child’s life/health and may convince another adult to act when they see something untoward. I expect you also expressed your appreciation that another staff member had the courage to stand against their peers and say the truth about what they saw. That is hard for even adults to do and takes courage. I have known mandated reporters who reported and were ostracized and forced to change jobs. Because what they reported ended with a hospital losing a specialist doctor … the child had been seen several times before for injuries/illnesses that other doctors had refused to acknowledge were deliberately inflicted as punishments. Ultimately the toddler died of such maltreatment.
    Child abuse is terrible and we all have a lifetime of combating it and teaching our children to talk about it, identify it, use correct terminology, object to it … and be believed and protected.
    I am so dreadfully sorry.

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