The Reality of Atlanta, Georgia, Daycare Abuse and Neglect
Many people are aware that daycare abuse and neglect occurs, but they rarely think that their own child will be a victim. Until it actually happens to your child, it is difficult to imagine that such a scenario will ever impact your life. Yet, it is entirely possible that your child has already been the victim of daycare abuse or neglect, and you aren’t aware because they’ve been instructed not to tell you. This is illustrated in the first case that we’re going to discuss today in which a three year old boy was abused at his daycare and instructed not to tell his mother. The incident only came to light in March of 2016 when his mother saw irrefutable evidence that abuse had occurred.
How One Mother Discovered Daycare Abuse in Atlanta, Georgia
In March of 2016, a grade-school teacher named Raavin Evans was giving her three-year-old son a bath, when she noticed something startling and terribly upsetting. Her son had long red welts all over his back and bottom. She immediately asked him what it was and he began to cry. The boy then explained that he had gotten hurt on the playground of Carol’s Daughter Learning Center, located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, on Pryor Street. He would not give any further information as to how the injury had happened, so his mother asked him if anyone had told him not to tell. He confirmed that he was not supposed to tell her, that someone had told him not to. Evans took her child to the doctor who came to the conclusion that the child had been abused, and contacted the police to report the incident.
How Another Incident of Daycare Abuse Led to a Lawsuit in Fulton County Civil Court
In another daycare abuse incident from September of 2015, a mother found out about a routine of abusive behavior towards children that was occurring in Crème de la Crème, a daycare on Haynes Bridge Road in Alpharetta. This incident resulted in a lawsuit for $2.5 million in Fulton County Civil Court, with four children involved. The abuse involved a former kindergarten teacher locking children in what she called ‘jail.’ This ‘jail’ was a small bathroom with the lights turned off and with no windows.
The children were left inside this small, dark, and frightening place for extended periods of time as a punishment for making mistakes on the class work the teacher provided. The children cried and begged to be let out, but were ignored and left alone in the dark room.
Children were also punished in this way for having accidents and for attempting to let other crying children out of ‘jail.’ Other reports involved the teacher encouraging children to make fun of children who had accidents. Part of the lawsuit involved the fact that there were actually cameras in the classroom, and the daycare did nothing to stop the horrendous acts. The administrators of the daycare said that they were not aware of the situation. Yet, with cameras inside, there is no reason that they should not have been aware. When the daycare administrators were informed of the numerous incidents, they were unresponsive to the parents but ultimately fired the teacher at issue.
Atlanta, Georgia, Law on Daycare Injuries and Abuse
It is natural to expect injuries to occur in daycare centers just as frequently as they might at home. Children are prone to accidents and mistakes happen. Thus, you cannot sue a daycare for just any injury that may occur. Rather, you must be able to establish that the injury was caused by the negligence of the daycare. This could mean that there was not adequate supervision or that the harm was inflicted on purpose. At the same time, there does not have to be an actual physical injury to pursue a lawsuit for daycare abuse. As in the case of the children who were locked in ‘jail,’ the abuse was mental and emotional. The children had no visible injuries, but they were traumatized and mistreated.
The important thing to understand about daycare abuse cases is that there are three key elements. In any personal injury claim, you must establish that a duty of care was owed to you or, in this case, your child. Naturally, all childcare providers owe a duty of care to the children in their care. The next thing to prove is that this duty of care was breached through abuse or neglect. Then, you must establish that the child’s physical or emotional harm was directly caused by this breach of duty.
In the case of Carol’s Daughter Learning Center, where the three year old child came home with welts, the daycare breached their duty of care by failing to protect a child from physical abuse and directly contributing to his injuries. In the case of Crème de la Crème, where the children were locked in a dark room by themselves for long periods of time, the daycare failed to uphold their duty of care by allowing the children to experience emotional harm.
Once you’ve established that the duty of care was breached and resulted in harm to your child, you have established liability for the injuries and damages. The daycare can then be made to pay for all economic and non-economic damages that are related to the incident. This includes the expenses of medical treatment, psychological and psychiatric treatment, pain and suffering, the lost wages of the parent, and various other damages. You can frequently even seek punitive damages, which is financial compensation awarded in an effort to punish the wrongdoing of the daycare provider.
If you suspect daycare abuse or neglect, then you need to report it right away to initiate an investigation. Then, contact the determined Atlanta, Georgia, daycare abuse and neglect attorneys at Council and Associates to schedule a free consultation.