A California mom is fighting to get laws changed after a worker at her daughter’s preschool allegedly took a photo of the girl’s bare bottom and posted it to Snapchat.
According to Shannon Galofaro, the picture was reportedly taken while her then-2-year-old daughter was sleeping during naptime.
During an interview with HLN, Galorfaro said it was Sunshine Child Care & Learning Center’s job to keep her daughter safe and that the preschool didn’t do that:
“I first learned about it when they first told me they didn’t tell me the whole story. They said it was just a little bit of her bottom was showing. I didn’t find out until almost three weeks later, and I was livid. I was so upset, and then I was sad, and now I just feel completely betrayed. I mean, my daughter was supposed to be safe.”
In an interview with Dearly, Galofaro said that four days after the August 2018 incident took place, she was told by the directors of the learning center that there was “an incident” involving her daughter and one of the teachers on August 31 during nap time:
“They said the teacher took a picture of my child, and her pants must have slipped down a little, and she posted it to Snapchat saying she’s ready for a three-day weekend. They also said the teacher has no malicious intent, and it was no big deal. They said they made the teacher delete it and escorted her off the premises.”
After asking why the school waited so long to notify her about the incident, she was told that it wanted to wait “until they were done with their own ‘investigation.'”
It wasn’t until roughly three weeks after the incident took place that Galofaro said she learned the truth about the incident.
As Galofaro told Dearly, another teacher who works at the center saw the video and reported it not only to the director of the learning center but also to the authorities and DSS.
The director allegedly told the teacher to “keep what you saw confidential and trust in Sunshine to do the right thing”:
“I went into the school to get a copy of my daughter’s file. They first refused to give me a copy, and I demanded they gave it to me. […] [The teacher] said she’s been wanting to tell me what happened. She said it was a VIDEO of my daughter sleeping face down with her bottom in the air. The blanket was on her perfectly flat as if it was just fixed. The video showed Kaitlyn removing the blanket off of my daughter. Her underwear was around her ankles and dress was up to her midriff. There was an emoji on her face and the caption said, ‘This girl is ready for that 3 day weekend.'”
Galofaro went on to say that the new “information shook me to the core”:
“I said, ‘That’s child pornography.’ She said, ‘Yes, it is!’ She also told me that she was the one to call the authorities and DSS. I thanked her for being such a good person and doing the right thing.”
According to Galofaro, on September 13, parents with children enrolled at Sunshine Child Care & Learning Center were given a letter that explained that the worker allegedly responsible for taking the photo of her daughter “left for personal reasons, and it went on about how much she will be missed.”
The letter made her even more “livid.”
According to the sheriff’s report, the former teacher said that she “meant no harm from the video she only posted the video in fun to get laughs out of the video.”
Now, Galofaro and her lawyer, Brian Claypool, are attempting to change California law after the video, according to the state’s law, was deemed “legal.”
Claypool told HLN:
“Apparently, in Los Angeles County, the prosecuting attorney doesn’t believe that the ‘Me Too’ movement also applies to children. I have been lobbying the district attorney in Los Angeles for weeks to prosecute, minimally, this teacher for what is called ‘criminal invasion of privacy.’
Now, Elizabeth, that law should apply, and there should be a prosecution. All you have to prove for that is somebody took a private picture of a private part for what is called sexual gratification. So now, the district attorney thinks that they can’t prove sexual gratification.”
“You tell me what rational, normal person would pull down the underwear of a 3-year-old, take a picture of her bottom and post it on social media without having a perverted interest or sexual pleasure behind that.”
The lawyer went on to say that the former teacher in question should be prosecuted for her actions because this particular case in question is “a game-changer.”
He said that if this case goes untouched the implications are “horrifying.”
Galofaro told HLN that she wants “justice for her daughter.” She added that justice looks like the teacher being prosecuted “first and foremost” and that laws need to change:
“What happened was not OK, and it’s not OK for somebody to take a picture of a child and exploit them like that. Imagine this is your child. How would you feel?”
The mom has since filed a civil suit.
She told Dearly:
“My daughter was having night terrors a week prior to the incident. She would wake up screaming, ‘She’s touching me, she’s on my leg.’ There was a point where she was begging me not to leave her at school. In therapy, it was disclosed that this was not an isolated incident and there was inappropriate touching as well.”
Galofaro is also upset that the sheriff’s department reportedly never did a “proper investigation”:
“The sheriff’s never held a proper investigation. Kaitlyn’s phone and computer was never confiscated. The school’s DVR was never confiscated to see if anyone even looked at the tape. There was a report made three weeks ago by my daughter’s therapist involving new information of physical misconduct. To my knowledge, they have not contacted her to add her statement to the police report.”
“The law is not made to protect children. I will make that my life mission to be an advocate for children. I started a GoFundMe page to fund the establishing of a nonprofit. From there, I am starting a petition to change this law.”
The mom admitted that “never in a million years” did she think anything like this would ever happen to her child or family.
Galofaro urged “parents to please listen to your child and stay vigilant with anyone you trust your child with. Just because you mean well, not everyone is good. That’s the harsh reality of the world we live in.”