ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – It happened at Brighter Cay Care and Preschool in north St. Louis County where we learned the director waited a reported five days before looking at the video.
A three-year-old child`s head split open at daycare on Friday, February 1. An ambulance took her to the hospital where she had seven stitches.
Daycare surveillance video shows what happened. You can see the girl appears calm and contained while standing in the same area by a chair for two minutes before a teacher walks across the room towards her. The teacher grabs the child’s arm and drags her. Then she throws her against a cabinet.
The teacher reportedly sent a note home to parents saying “she fell.”
“In no world did this family have any idea that what was called a fall was actually an assault until they came to see that video,” said attorney Jennifer Hansen.
The family hired Hansen for representation and asked to remain anonymous.
“One of the more egregious aspects of this case is that the daycare director told the family that she did not watch the surveillance tape until the family was with her,” Hansen said.
Hansen said it was five days after the incident when the child’s relative recorded the video off of a surveillance monitor with her cellphone. You can hear her shock in the relative’s voice when she sees it wasn’t an accident as reported.
“The daycare could’ve reviewed that footage at any time,” Hansen said. “They didn’t and they allowed the daycare worker who assaulted this little girl, to continue to work at the facility for five additional days.”
The director fired the teacher after seeing the video. Police are also investigating along with state child care inspectors.
Fox 2 News found those inspectors also reported past cases of kids getting hurt at that location.
In May 2018, inspectors noted a second teacher “slam a child down on the cot” and a third teacher “holding a child by his wrist, dragging him across the room.”
In June 2016, inspectors said, “staff did not have a preventative plan in place” when “(one child was) repeatedly hitting and choking another child.”
And in March 2016, inspectors wrote that a “child fell out of the chair and sustained a left femoral fracture.”
Daycare director Sharon Williams came out to tell us she could not comment because of the ongoing investigation. Her attorney then sent us a statement, saying: “All teachers and staff are properly trained and extremely qualified. Providing a quality education in a safe environment is of the utmost importance to our teachers and staff. It has always been our policy to notify the proper authorities and to fully comply with any investigation. We have and will continue to follow said policy.”
Count on us to monitor the police investigation and to track whether daycare regulators act.