When a Florida mother picked up her daughter from daycare last week, she was alarmed to notice the little girl had bruises and cuts on her arm that appeared to be from fingernails.
According to WPTV, the mother asked the 3-year-old who had caused the injuries, but she never expected the surprising name that her daughter gave.
The little girl answered, “Mrs. Amelia” — her daycare teacher at the Lighthouse Academy and Child Development Center in Boynton Beach.Screenshot/WPTV
When pressed further, the girl told her mother that she was punished for being “bad” at school and that “Mrs. Amelia grabbed her by the arm to make her listen.”
Shocked, the mother reached out to the school for answers.
That’s when owner Catherine Huber found disturbing footage of Amelia Jones, the 3-year-old’s teacher, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Security cameras managed to capture the moment Jones “very aggressively” grabbed the toddler by the arm and pulled her into a bathroom, causing injuries to her elbow.
When questioned about the incident, Jones admitted to Boynton Beach police that she was frustrated with the child because she wouldn’t stop crying that day and became “too aggressive.”
The teacher was “immediately terminated,” but further review of the daycare’s video footage revealed that wasn’t the only incident in which Jones appeared to abuse a child.Boynton Beach Police
Footage from February 5 showed Jones causing a different child to fall over, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Police said the video showed Jones “grabbing, shaking, and lifting the child out of a chair and causing her to fall to the floor for no apparent reason.”
That child also came home with marks on her body, according to her grandmother.
Despite the incidents being captured on camera, the daycare said in a statement they didn’t know about the on-going abuse.
They wrote, in part:
When it was revealed through our security cameras what she had done, we immediately terminated Amelia Jones and we are cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation.
Jones was arrested on February 6 and again on February 12 for the abuse, and is out on $3,000 bond. Of the incident, she told the Palm Beach Post:
“Teachers have stressful days. That’s all I’m going to say.”
On its website, the Rasansky Law Firm lists several warning signs parents can look out for if they’re concerned about potential daycare abuse.
Children experiencing abuse may show changes in behavior, have anxiety about going to daycare, have nightmares, and come home with unexplained injuries.
But most importantly, suspicious parents should also speak up if they think something’s wrong.
In this case, it likely spared other children the same fate as the toddler.