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Day care worker will not be charged following Facebook video

Posted: 10:28 AM, Nov 17, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-17 15:43:55Z

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Marion County Prosecutor’s office will not file criminal charges against a day care worker accused of dragging a 3-year old by the arm.

The incident happened on November 3 at La Petite Academy , 4116 Kildeer Drive in Indianapolis, and was posted by a witness on Facebook.

The parents of 3-year old Damont’e said their son did not want to come inside from the playground, and the worker responded by pulling Damont’e by one arm and dragging him inside.

“It was determined that the evidence presented did not rise to the level of a crime,” said Peg McLeish, spokesperson for the Marion County Prosecutor’s office, on Wednesday.

The determination to not file criminal charges against the employee, who is no longer working at La Petite Academy, is not sitting well with Damont’e’s parents.

“It’s saddening news to hear, and no parents would want to hear any news like that especially when it’s involving their child,” said Darrius Brown, father of Damont’e. “I pray that this situation doesn’t arise again.”

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration cited La Petite Academy following the incident with Damont’e.

FSSA conducted an inspection on November 7 at the facility and issued the following citations :

  • Lack of supervision with preschool children on the playground
  • A caregiver used inappropriate, harsh discipline with a child
  • The (day care) director did not properly supervise a caregiver that used inappropriate discipline with a child

FSSA also found the caregiver who used inappropriate discipline had not received documented child abuse prevention/detection training within the previous 12 months, records show.

“We will continue to work cooperatively with the state Bureau of Child Development to ensure we fully meet or exceed all licensing requirements,” said Lydia Cisaruk, director of communications for La Petite Academy.  “We’ll continue to review our protocols on supervision and the positive guidance and redirection of children in ongoing training.  We remain committed to providing high-quality early education and nurturing care.”

Cisaruk would not comment, due to confidentiality, whether the employee was fired or resigned.

HOW TO CHECK A CHILD CARE FACILITY:

  • Plug in a provider's name to ChildCareFinder.IN.Gov  and look for complaints, inspection reports, and any pending enforcement
  • Use your eyes and ears when visiting. Are they following safe sleep? Is equipment working? Are children strapped into their high chairs?
  • Drop by the child's day care unexpectedly during the day. What is seen at pickup and drop off may be very different than what's happening during the middle of the day
  • Ask to see the provider's license or registration, which should be posted in a public area. If the provider is on probation, it will say so on the license, along with the reasons why.
  • Ask to see a copy of the day care's discipline policy. Corporal punishment is not illegal in the state of Indiana
  • Ask what their current child-to-staff ratio is. Experts say accidents are more likely to happen when staffers are watching a lot of children.
  • Ask if the provider is part of the state's voluntary rating system, called Paths to Quality. The state said this helps guarantee they're meeting and/or exceeding licensing requirements regardless of type of day care
  • If you use an unlicensed facility, know they do not have to submit to background checks, CPR training, safe sleep training, and other requirements. Ask to see proof your provider has completed these.
  • For more information, go to ChildCareIndiana.org