A friend reported child abuse in a daycare and is getting reamed for it.

United States
February 8, 2009 9:08pm CST
My best friend works at a daycare and has worked there for over 10 years. There was an incident in which she had witnessed a child getting hit by a teacher. My friend immediately told the management about this situation but the owner did absolutely nothing about it. The little boy was in tears and the teacher actually smacked the child in the head with force she continued to yell at the kid. This happened as my friend was clocking out for the day and she was really disturbed at the way things were handled. It bothered her so much that she just had to report it. When you work in daycare you are required to sign a form that states that you promise to report any abuse you see happen to a minor. She called the abuse hotline anonymously and told them exactly what she saw happen to the child. They assured her that she would remain anonymous and that they will be there within 24 hours. They did show up the very next day to discuss what went on. Immediately the owner knew that my friend was the person who made the call because there were only so many people who saw what happened. As soon as the police left my friend got reamed for ratting out a coemployee. Ever since this incident every one of her coworkers are giving her the silent treatment and are being very catty. In my opinion this is SO not fair. I think she is being mistreated and if this is what the world is coming to then I am so scared. What would you have done in this situation? Would you call on behalf of the child or would you look the other way which is what they seem to want her to have done.
4 people like this
12 responses
• United States
9 Feb 09
I would have called but I wouldn't have done it anonymously. But then that's me. Your friend now needs to keep a journal and a calendar of what happens in relation to this. It's very possible that she may be basically forced to quit by the treatment she's going to get from co-workers and management. If she documents then she has recourse to sue for being subjected to harassment and a hostile work environment. She should also seek the advice of an attorney now because management may be looking for any reason to fire her since they'll be concerned that she did the right thing once and probably would again.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 09
So far the situation has not improved today and was just more of the same. I advised her to do the same thing, to keep a journal on what she is experiencing just in case. She has made it clear that if anything ever happened again that she would be reporting it. Afterall, it is part of her job and she is there because of her love for children so she will always protect them.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 09
Good for her. She's lucky to have you to support her through this.
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Feb 09
This is a tough situation your friend is in. Your friend did the right thing though. Let's say your friend did not report it and something really bad happened to one of the children (like shaken baby syndrome etc...) - let's also say, the police had to get involved because of an injury or worse. During the course of the investigation, it would become evident that others witnessed abuses and failed to report it. I suspect, all of them would be charged with accessory offenses, right? Using the scenario above, if your friend didn't report it, she would be in trouble as well. It's unfair to be punished for doing the right thing
• United States
10 Feb 09
She definitely had no choice but to report the incident however, she says even if she wasn't required by law to report it she would have anyway. It is just the right thing to do, always.
1 person likes this
@littleone3 (2065)
9 Feb 09
Your friend did the right thing I would have done the same thing if I had been in that situation. Her co workers must not think very much of the children they are working with to allow something like this to happen. I agree it is not fair on her. This reminds me of a case my son told me about. About two years ago when my sons year was doing a week work experience in different places. One of the girls had a work placement in a nursery and she spotted one of the children being abused and told her parents. The parents got in touch with the school who got the police involved. It turned out that there had been other cases of abuse and the police shut this nursery down. So if this girl and her parents had said nothing, them poor children would still be suffering today.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 09
No the workers and owners are only concerned with making money and in this case avoiding a lawsuit. They see my friend as a huge headache now and tell her that if she had just kept her mouth shut that they wouldn't have to deal with all this now. That was coming from the owners too! I believe that maybe they will learn their lesson from this and perhaps in the future screen their employees better because this woman was clearly not right in the head to hit a kid just because she was in a "mood" and had a bad day.
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
9 Feb 09
I would absolutely call. Not only is the teacher who abused the child guilty, but every person who knew about it and did nothing is guilty. When you work in childcare, you are a mandated reporter, and can be brought up on criminal charges for not reporting known, or even suspected, child abuse. In my opinion, the director and any other staff who knew about the incident should be reported for neglecting to protect the child and any other children in this teacher's care. If they don't report it, they are condoning it. That means it will likely happen again, and the children need their caregivers to protect them from abusers. It is unfortunate that the staff are treating her so poorly when clearly she is in the right here. If I were her, I would report them all for failing to report the incident, then quit so as not to be affiliated with staff or a center where such abuse is allowed to continue.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 09
It is so sad to know that the staff is attempting to peer pressure my friend into keeping her mouth shut. She is strong though and will never let anyone tell her what to do. If a position did become available for her to work at a more respectable daycare she would resign immediately from this horrible place.
@sunshine4 (8709)
• United States
9 Feb 09
Your friend did the right thing and if she sees it again, I hope that she reports it again. If my child were getting hit by a teacher, I certainly would want someone to report that teacher. Funny how people don't talk to her for doing what is best for the child~seems like alot of these people shouldn't be working here if they think looking the other way is the way to handle this. Kudos to your friend for doing what is right! I have called CPS before on someone too. Once I was driving down the street and there was a 2 yr old and a 3 yr old in the middle of the street playing. NO parent to be found. I called and reported once I saw the mother run out of her house. This way I knew who to report.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 09
Me too, I would hope that the teacher that I trusted my child to be with would never do anything to hurt him. The children trust their teachers too and something like this must really be disturbing to a poor little kid.
@4ofmyown (1119)
• United States
9 Feb 09
Most definitely would I have called...I think she did exactly what she was supposed to do. The child comes first. Even though she was punching out for the day her job was to make sure that child did not have that happen again. Obviously, the person who hit the child should not work in that kind of atmosphere...AT ALL. Adults have to be the voice for children in situations like this. I feel bad that now she is the one being somewhat abused. I know it is not easy to change jobs but if I were her I would not want to work with people like that.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 09
She realizes now the kind of people she has to work with and it is not pretty. I can't wait to see what the outcome is for the lady who hit the child. So far nothing has happened but HRS is handling it and will be deciding soon.
• United States
9 Feb 09
Your friend did the right thing. SHe definately has a good heart. I would have done the same thing that she done. I do not blame her a bit. It was her responsibility to do this. No matter who thinks that they had their toes stepped on. God bless her. What if she had not reported it and the child ended up with head trauma?? I know that some people may think that that is a stretch but just one time of hitting a child could seriously hurt them or kill them. She definately did the right thing though. And if I were her I would be smiling as big as I could at them acting so childish as to give her the silent treatment. I mean honestly, if it were there kid they would have wanted someone to report it. You let someoone do this to my child and the cops would probably have to intervene. Anyways gonna swhut up I am getting all revved up and upset.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 09
That is exactly what I told her I think she should be the bigger person and just smile at their childish behavior. At least my friend could get some sleep at night with a clear conscience knowing that she did the right thing.
@KrauseHome (35514)
• United States
9 Feb 09
Wow!! This is unreal, and I would think that she should have somewhere she can turn in respect of this. Personally when somewhere turns their head on something like this happening, and acts like it is not a Big deal is not a place most parents should want to have their kids in as well. All I can think of is if it was me, I would be contacting a State autority to see what my rights are from there. But with the Job economy being the way it is, maybe no one would look on her side either way as well?
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 09
I feel so bad for her she is getting a ton of flack from the girls at work they are making snide comments about her calling her a rat and giving her the meanest looks. It must be so uncomfortable for her to have to show up to work each day but she is handling it so well. She really believes that she has done the right thing and would do it again if she ever witnessed something like this again. It's nice to know that someone is on our children's side.
• United States
9 Feb 09
I think in the end your friend did the right thing. If she lost friends over it then they really weren't her friends in the beginning. She saw something wrong happening and brought it to someone's attention. Maybe police involvement was going a bit too far but she definitely needed to let the head of the daycare know what was going on. If that was my child who was being hit and yelled at like that I would want to know that someone would have reported the actions.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 09
These are just the people she has to work with they are not her friends and she realizes that. She didn't call the police she called an abuse hotline and they sent out an investigator to assess the situation. It is just the process that has to happen once a report is made. It strikes me as strange only because of how the other teachers are banding up against her. No one else was even present except for my friend, a couple of children and a parent. The teacher who hit the child even confessed to the investigator that she did lose her temper and it went to far. If my friend did not call and the parent did my friend would have been in a lot of trouble for not reporting it. We don't even know if the parent did call, she could have called it in too. I really don't think my friend had a choice but to call.
@lilaclady (28240)
• Australia
9 Feb 09
hmmm that is is an awful situation your friend is in, I think I would have demanded management do something then if nothing was done go higher, I know jobs are not easy to get but i am not sure I could stay working there now they have turned against your friend, hitting a child in the head is abuse, I think I would be looking around for another job, then maybe reporting the whole place for discrimination for the way they are treating her...thank god there are people looking after the kids....
• United States
9 Feb 09
She tried to get it handled by telling the owner of the daycare but she just shrugged her shoulders and continued typing on the computer. She really wants to leave but she is the breadwinner of the family and is just not able to quit financially. It is a shame.
@jonesy123 (3950)
• United States
11 Feb 09
Your friend was right to call the hotline. The give-away was that she had told management about the situation before she called the hotline and apparently was the only one who cared, which is pretty bad in itself. I suppose the management wanted to handle the situation internally. Often stuff like that becomes public knowledge and the loss to the business is quite big. Anyhow, it's also natural for the co-workers to give the silent treatment. Besides that they may have been told a story in which your friend is the bad person making stuff up, they also might fear that she watches them and what they do and will cry foul as soon as one only looks wrong at a child or something. Nobody wants to be accused of child abuse, especially not, if childcare is their job. This is a very sad situation. Unfortunately I can only recommend for your friend to find another job, because the situation will most likely not improve at all unless the co-worker in question is caught red handed by others doing something worse than just giving a child a smack (which seems to have been acceptable to all the other adults present).
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
31 Aug 09
I've actually been in a simular situation. Years ago when I was running a daycare I had my brothers son in daycare. One day I went to change him, he was about 3 and in pullups and I noticed a big bruise on his upper thigh. He couldn't tell me what happened really so when his sister came in (she was 5) I asked her, she told me that their dad (my brother) had hit him with a belt. When he came to pick them up I tried to talk to him about it and he told me it was none of my business. When they left I hotlined him...I was crying so hard b/c I really didn't want to but I couldn't just not say anything and besides I'd signed the same kind of statement that I'd turn in any kind of abuse or I could be held accountable too. They sent someone out to investigate and my Mom told me not to tell him I called, which I did anyways...why hide it...and it cost me 2 years of not being able to see the kids but at least he's never hit them again. I would have turned in the incident your talking about too. She did the right thing. Her boss and co-workers are just ashamed b/c they don't have the courage to stand up for a little kid. [b]~~AT PEACE WITHIN~~ **STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS**[/b]