Just recently, the parents of a 2-year-old boy were left outraged after learning that one of the employees at their son’s daycare was caught on video abusing their child. As a consequence, the staff member has been fired from the daycare and taken into custody by the police.
Specifically, Dallas Ofria, a daycare worker at the Smarty Pants Preschool in Bradenton, Florida, was arrested earlier this week by law enforcement officials with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and charged with “child abuse” shortly after she was filmed by a surveillance camera abusing a child in her care for roughly six minutes.
At the start of the video, Ofria can be seen aggressively changing their child’s diaper. At one point in the video, she essentially bends him in half and puts almost all of her weight on him. Disturbingly, the horrific treatment of the child apparently went on for about six minutes.
According to reports, the local police officers learned about the abuse from the lead director of the daycare, Jillian Serra, who told reporters that she dialed 911 as soon as she found out about the what Ofria had done.
The parents of the victim, however, weren’t told about the abuse for about five hours after it occurred. After hearing what happened, they were then shown video footage of the abuse.
Unsurprisingly, the whole incident left them completely outraged. “Literally all his pressure is on his neck and she keeps forcing herself down on him,” exclaimed the boy’s father, Michael Lavalle, while talking to reporters about the incident. “You have to be some type of animal to do that,” he added, clearly shaken.
“She’s a monster she deserves to go to jail,” added the child’s mother, Danielle Lavalle, who partly blamed herself for what happened. “I feel like I failed as a parent, as a mother,” she explained, noting, “you trust these people.”
Sadly, it’s not entirely uncommon for a daycare worker to abuse the children that they’re paid to look after.
Earlier this month, for instance, police officers in North Carolina arrested Joshelyn Parker, a 25-year-old employee at the Goldsboro Family YMCA, and charged her with “misdemeanor child abuse” after she was also caught on video harming a child in her care. Specifically, she was filmed “grabbing a young boy by the neck and jacket and dragging him from a gymnasium into a classroom.”
In addition to a police investigation, Kriquette Davis, the vice president of operations at the Goldsboro YMCA, released a statement announcing that they would also be conducting their own internal investigation.
“Safety is our primary concern,” explained Davis in the statement, adding, “as such, our Y will also be conducting our own internal investigation into the allegations against the employee as they relate to the Y and depending upon the results of the investigation, will act accordingly.”
On top of that, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced earlier this month that they’ll be suspending the license of Lil’ Daydreamers Child Development Center after two of their childcare workers were arrested and charged with “child abuse.”
“This action is based on the agency’s findings that conditions at the center represent immediate danger to the health, safety, and welfare of children receiving care at the center. Therefore, emergency action must be taken,” explained the DHHS in a recently filed notice of administrative action.
And several months before that, the Winter Haven Police Department arrested Kaderrica Smith, a 26 year-old from Haines City, and Alexus Henderson, a 19-year-old from Dundee, after receiving information about a Snapchat video that had been posted online showing them abusing one of their students at Our Children’s Academy, a daycare center in Winter Haven, Florida.
In the video, which was filmed by one of the abusers, a terrified eight-year-old boy, who was diagnosed with Autism, ADHD, ODD and severe outbursts, can be seen hiding underneath a table while Henderson and Smith both taunt him. One of the women then approaches the child and throws something at him, causing him to yelp out in pain.
Later in the video, the boy comes out from under the table and begins acting out by screaming and throwing various objects.
Unfortunately, instead of attempting to de-escalate the situation, the two employees decided to instigate. For instance, when he climbed onto a chair, one of the women shouted, “fall on your face!”
The two women, who were immediately fired after the video surfaced, insist that they did nothing wrong. “When we interviewed them, they had defended what they had done as being the appropriate thing to do with this child,” explained Chief Charlie Bird while speaking with reporters.
Bird, however, pushed back against this by stating, “these workers were supposed to be trained in how to handle children with behavioral issues. They are trained to de-escalate situations, but that obviously did not happen.” As a consequence, Smith is being charged with “battery and child abuse” and Henderson is being charged with “child neglect.”