DHR investigates Wetumpka daycare after abuse allegations - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

DHR investigates Wetumpka daycare after abuse allegations

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)

There's new information on alleged abuse at a Wetumpka daycare.

A mother claimed her 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter was strapped to a high chair for as many as five hours at Wetumpka Child Development Center.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources conducted a licensing complaint investigation.

According to a minimum standards deficiency report from DHR, the investigation revealed the child was "placed in a high chair when doing activities such as art and reading" if the child wouldn't stay still. "This restricts the movement of the child," the report stated.

The daycare must respond to the minimum standards deficiency report by Sept. 8. The report must also be displayed in the center until the correction has been approved from a DHR representative.

The mother of the child says her daughter has Down's syndrome and can't tell her what's going on. That's why the mother took matters into her own hands, investigated the situation and says she was disgusted by what she found.

"I was just sick to my stomach. I was in disbelief that they would do that to a child. I wouldn't even do that to a dog," Elizabeth said.

The mom says this happened for two weeks. Elizabeth says she took her concerns to the teachers, director and owner, but it fell on deaf ears. So she filed a police report and contacted the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

"She's in a high chair during feeding time, snack time, when the other kids are doing crafts at the table, when the other kids are doing story time. Anytime the children are at the table, she is in a high chair. When they are going to the potty, she is in the high chair," Elizabeth said.

Elizabeth says she has recordings of teachers admitting the toddler does stay in the high chair for long period of times. She says the explanations administrators gave her are mind boggling.

"[They] agreed and stood behind the teachers for the need to put her in a highchair because they were bringing in more children because he's got bills to pay, and he needs to get 11 children in that room and they don't have time to watch my child, and that's why they have to put her in a high chair," Elizabeth said.

WSFA 12 News contacted the owner, Emmit Johnson, to respond to these allegations. He declined comment.

This mother says she will exhaust every measure to make sure her daughter has justice.

"I'm her advocate. Children and people with disabilities unfortunately have a higher chance of being neglected and abused. I'm standing up for her rights. All the other children are allowed to run around and play and get into everything, but not my daughter, that's wrong," Elizabeth said.

Elizabeth says she withdrew her daughter from the school, and she is now in another facility.

She encourages parents to ask questions and make surprise visits to their child's day care facility.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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