January 22, 2019
If a child pulls another child's hair at daycare, they deserve a time-out. But when it's an adult responsible for the hair pulling, the consequences should be a lot more severe.
That's why the family of three-year-old Amyra Wilson plans to take legal action against My Little Playhouse Learning Center in Lubbock, Texas. According to KAMC News (via EverythingLubbock.com), Amyra's family only learned about the alleged abuse when a video went viral that showed a grown woman pulling their daughter's hair as another adult laughed and recorded it.
"She was physically abused by an adult and someone that we paid to place for her safety," said LaQuitta Wilson, Amyra's mother. "They had no apology. They had no reason. They did not call me. Like I said, everything hit the fan and it's like they just had nothing to say."
Police were made aware of the video after it was posted online Jan. 17. According to KCBD, Lubbock Police Investigators immediately began visited the daycare and began an investigation. The investigation revealed the disturbing video was actually recorded on Dec. 26, but Amyra's parents weren't aware of it until it was posted on social media three weeks later.
Both daycare employees from the video have been fired, and officials with My Little Playhouse Learning Center released the following statement to KCBD:
"The owners and Directors of My Little Playhouse Learning Center LLC were made aware of video footage posted on social media at approximately 11:45 a.m. Staff involved were fired immediately. Local authorities (LPD) has been notified and are investigating accordingly. Texas Department of Childcare Licensing has also been notified."
Amyra's family said that while she's doing OK physically, they're understandably upset with how the daycare facility handled the situation. They want to make sure the employee in the video faces consequences for her actions, too. As Amyra's father, Martreal Walker, told KAMC News, "We want any legal action that can happen, any legal action that happened to her, like jail time."
On Monday, Jan. 21, Amyra's parents organized a protest outside the My Little Playhouse daycare. They held signs with messages like "It's not okay" and "What if it were your child?"
"We're not angry, we just want justice," Amyra's mom told KAMC News. "We are here today to see justice for Amyra and any other neglected and abused child out here who cannot speak for themselves."
According to KCBD, the police investigation is still ongoing. In the meantime, Amyra's grandmother Shanna Walker has some advice for families seeking any type of care provider. "Make sure that the people that are working there have no criminal background because if they'll do it to a child, they'll do it to the elderly," she told KAMC News. "So we just want to make sure this never happens to another child."
A reputable daycare facility will be staffed by sensitive, trained caregivers who have no problem answering parents' questions. There are different credentials and accreditations daycares can have, and it's important to understand what the licensing requirements are for providers in your state.
Visiting the facility, observing the caregivers and children, and talking with to her like-minded parents can also give you a better sense of what to expect. And if something just doesn't quite feel right, listen to your gut.
Abuse of any form is obviously unacceptable at any daycare, but some facilities just aren't quite the right fit a child based on his or her personality and the family's preferences. As Anne Goldstein, a former daycare teacher and current director of state policy initiatives with Zero to Three, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that promotes healthy early-childhood development, told Parents.com, "Each family has its own culture and wants to find the match that meets its particular child-rearing style."