Daycare Abuse: Child pinned to floor

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TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) — An employee at Taylor Independent School District’s Child Development Center is accused of pinning a 2-year-old to the ground with her knee when he wouldn’t take a nap, according to a release from the City of Taylor.

A coworker of Mikelean Griffith, 67, told police what she saw May 17 and said she believed it was abusive.

“Ms. Griffith held the child to the mat placing her knee in the center of the child’s back while both of her hands were on child’s shoulders, near his neck,” the release said. “Ms. Griffith transferred her body weight onto the child’s back.”

Mikelean Griffith, a childcare worker for Taylor ISD’s Child Development Center, has been charged with injury to a child, a state felony. A coworker claims she pinned her knee to a child’s back and held him down when he wouldn’t take a nap. pic.twitter.com/wPVk2DXDYW

— Alex Caprariello (@alcaprari23) May 30, 2019

Taylor ISD’s Child Development Center’s discipline and guidance policy says, “There must be no harsh, cruel, or unusual treatment of any child” and specifically says there should not be any punishment “associated with food, naps, or toilet training.” 

The coworker told police the child screamed and cried.

Parents later told police they noticed a red mark on the child’s back after he returned home from daycare. They took him to the doctor for treatment.

This isn’t the first time the Taylor ISD Child Development Center has come under fire. Back in January 2018, the Texas Health and Human Services found that caregivers were yelling at kids and one caregiver used inappropriate forms of discipline on the children.

A final conclusion from that investigation also revealed the center’s director wasn’t assigning the employees positions to properly match their skills, abilities, and training.

Griffith’s neighbors in Hutto say they see her out now and then, but she mainly keeps to herself. Most can’t believe the accusations made against her.

“You don’t hurt children like that, you don’t treat them like that,” said Grace Dickson, who lives down the street from Griffith. “There’s a lot of kids here. They play up and down the street all the time. SO I would hope that this isn’t a problem for her around kids, period. Not just working at the daycare.” 

These kinds of allegations reinforced local mother Tiffany McCarver’s decision to keep her own two children out of daycare. 

“Stuff happens when [your children] are not within your own care when you’re not there to take care of them,” McCarver said. “My rule of thumb is that they have to at least be old enough to know what’s right and wrong and know how to communicate and talk to me just because if something happens, I need them to be able to tell me.” 

Griffith turned herself into police Thursday and faces an Injury to a Child charge. She already posted the $2,500 bond. 

In a statement released Thursday, Taylor ISD Superintendent Keith Brown wrote: 

“Taylor Independent School District has been made aware that certain Child Development Center employees violated District policies. Allegations have also been made by local law enforcement that laws may have been broken. The District is not able to comment on an ongoing police investigation, nor can the District comment on personnel matters except to say that the individuals involved are no longer employed by Taylor ISD. Taylor ISD values the safety and well-being of each of its students, and is conducting its own investigation into the CDC allegations to ensure that each child in its care has the opportunity to succeed.”

A spokesman for the school district would not specify how many workers from the Child Development Center this situation involves when KXAN asked for further clarification.

The Taylor ISD superintendent just sent us this statement. He wouldn’t go into details about the allegations of abuse but did say the district is conducting its own investigation and that Griffith is no longer employed. pic.twitter.com/yoi9p17NOq

— Alex Caprariello (@alcaprari23) May 30, 2019

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