Category Archives: StopChildAbuse

LA DayCare License Revoked After Continued Abuse Of Children

.jpg photo of graphic for daycare facility
In a statement, the department says the decision comes after instances of children being mistreated by staff.

West Monroe DayCare license revoked
after Child Abuse allegations

WEST MONROE, LA  –  The Louisiana Dept. of Education has revoked the license and pulled public funding from Assembly Kidz Daycare in West Monroe.

In a statement, the department says the decision comes after instances of children being mistreated by staff.

The statement also says the center failed to timely report the most recent incident.  Read more about that incident here.

You can read the full news release below.

The Louisiana Department of Education today revoked the license of an early learning center in Ouachita Parish and terminated its public funding after escalating instances of children being mistreated by staff members, resulting in employees being terminated and arrested for cruelty to juveniles.  The center also failed to timely report the most recent incident to the appropriate state agencies and to the parents of the children involved.

“Early childhood education centers have the responsibility of not only preparing our youngest learners for success in Kindergarten and beyond, but also prioritizing their health, safety and well-being,” said State Superintendent John White.  “This center has proven it is unable to protect our children.”

Most recently, in August, the Department’s Division of Licensing inspected The Assembly Kidz Care, located at 1007 Glenwood Drive, after learning a staff member mistreated three 3-year-old children.

The center’s video showed the staff member picking up one child by the shirt before dropping them to the floor, causing the child to hit their head.

The staff member was then seen aggressively grabbing a second child while attempting to put the child down onto a sleeping mat, and dragging a third child across the room and onto a sleeping mat.

The center’s video also showed the staff member hitting and shaking the children.

 A parent watching the center’s video observed the mistreatment and brought it to the attention of the center’s director.  The center did not notify the state education department, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services or the parents of the children involved within the required time frame.

This center is now ineligible for public funding through the Child Care Assistance Program, which helps make child care more affordable for working low-income families.   The education department has alerted families affected by this action and is working closely with them to identify safe, quality alternative options.

The Assembly Kidz Care has 15 calendar days from receipt of the notice of revocation to appeal the decision.  Providers who have had their licenses revoked are ineligible to apply for licensure for two years.  Operating a child care center without a license may result in an order to cease and desist, as well as an injunction from a court prohibiting the continued operation of a child care center without a license and placement on the statewide registry of individuals prohibited from operating a child care center.

Jury Clears NE Woman Of Child Abuse

.jpg photo of York County NE courthouse where jury finds woman not guilty of child abuse
York County Courthouse Nebraska, where Ashley A. Eckard, 29, was found not guilty of Child Abuse.

Jury finds McCool woman not guilty
of Child Abuse

YORK, NE  –  A York County jury has found a McCool Junction woman not guilty of child abuse.

Ashley A. Eckard, 29, was charged with committing child abuse intentionally/no injury, a Class 3A felony.

Now that she has been found not guilty, the charge has been dismissed.

According to court documents, it was alleged that she burned an 8-year-old child on the hand with a lit cigarette.

According to the affidavit filed with the court, the child told investigators with Health and Human Services and the York County Sheriff’s Department that Eckard intentionally burned her three times.

The child said when she told Eckard she was going to tell other adults what happened, Eckard allegedly grabbed her by the ear and instructed her to say she had gotten hurt sliding down a slide on a bouncy house – according to the court documents.

The sheriff’s department’s investigator said he observed three burns on the child’s hand that were approximately the same size as a cigarette, in his reporting for the affidavit.

The jury was convened, a trial was held and the jury came back with the verdict of not guilty.

TX School Bus Driver Facing Criminal Solicitation Of Minor

.jpg photo of bus driver arrested for criminal solicitation of a minor
Ruben Castillo, 63

Mesquite ISD bus driver attempted to solicit child for sex, police say

DALLAS, TX  –  A bus driver for Mesquite ISD was arrested Tuesday after police say he attempted to solicit a child for sex.

Ruben Castillo, 63, faces one count of criminal solicitation of a minor to commit sexual assault of a child, Mesquite police said.

Police did not release any additional details about the case but said that any other students who believe Castillo contacted them inappropriately should call the police department at 972-285-6336.

Castillo has worked as a bus driver for the district for 11 years, police said.

A Mesquite ISD spokeswoman said the district moved quickly to remove Castillo from his position and fire him after learning of his arrest.

“These charges are very troubling, and we are sickened that a trusted employee attempted to victimize one of our students,” the district said in a written statement. “While we are unaware of any other students who may have been impacted by Mr. Castillo’s actions, the district is cooperating fully with the police investigation.”

Castillo was being held in the Mesquite jail Tuesday evening, with bail set at $25,000, jail records showed.

Do You Supervise Your Children’s Phones?

.jpg photo of child predators arrested in arizona sting operation
These 25 men were arrested for arriving at a home to sexually abuse children in Arizona last month.

25 Reasons You Should Know What Your
Children Are Doing On Their Phones

These 25 men were arrested for arriving at a home to sexually abuse children in Arizona last month.  They responded to ads on various apps and websites by attempting to make a deal for different sex acts with children.  Luckily, undercover officers were the ones behind the ads, not traffickers selling real children.

Unfortunately, the type of sting operation used in Operation Summer Shield works well because of the shocking amount of real ads of real child victims who are being exploited sexually online.

In addition to traffickers selling children online, social media has become a wide open field for predators to find and extort vulnerable children.  Today’s youth need to know the dangers online.

“Predators no longer lurk in chat rooms,” Senator Marsha Blackburn said (link tweet), “ Predators use the apps our children use.”  These 25 men are the 25 reasons that you should know what your children are doing on their phones, because children are being targeted by online sexual predators.

“Traffickers look for the vulnerabilities and a child.  They look for what they are talking about online,” said Dr. Roe-Sepowtiz.  “And they find what it is that is missing, whether it’s attention, or love, or [physical] things.”

“I think it’s really important that if someone slides into their DM, that they know that that’s a predator, and to cut that person off,” she said.

These men all sought to have sex with children in other states around the U.S. in the last few months through Snapchat, Instagram, and other popular social media apps and websites

Is Your Baby In Danger?

.jpg photo of the executive director of Kids in Danger
Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger.

Recalled Sleepers Linked To Infant Deaths Are Still Being Used in Daycare Centers

Earlier this year, Fischer-Price issued a recall of nearly five million Rock ‘n Play sleepers after the popular product was linked to at least 30 infant deaths.  Not long after, Kids II recalled 700,000 of its own inclined sleepers due to similar concerns.

Several months later, one mom was shocked to find that these dangerous sleepers are still being used in some daycare centers, which could be putting their kids at risk.

Sarah Landis, a mom from Philadelphia, told Consumer Reports that in June, she came to her one-year-old son’s daycare and discovered that a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper was in the infant facility room.  Landis told her husband, Adam Garber, who works in product safety.  Garber gave the daycare a call to see if they were aware of the recall.

“Our daycare provider, who cares deeply about the kids, was really confused,” says Garber.  “She said she thought there had only been a warning about the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper and that as long as the product was properly used, and babies were buckled in, it would be fine.”

Garber informed the daycare director that a full recall had been issued, something that the director says they were never informed about the extent of the recall and so they believed they were not putting children in danger by keeping theirs.  William Wallace, the manager of home and safety policy for Consumer Reports, says that this can be common if companies give mixed messaging about a recall.

“Recalls don’t work well unless people get a clear and consistent message.  And they especially don’t work well if manufacturers and the government fail to fully warn people about the risks of a product,” Wallace explained.

Fortunately, in this case, no infants were harmed as a result of the sleeper but considering the popularity of these products, it’s hard to imagine that there aren’t still daycare centers that are unknowingly using a product that has been proven to be dangerous.

What can you do if you are a parent who is unsure if your kid’s daycare is using one of these items?  Garber says the most effective thing you can do is reach out.

“One of the things we’re telling folks is to just go in and ask what the center’s plan is to check for and remove recalled products—and then ask about specific products,” Garber says.

Ben Hoffman, M.D., chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatric’s Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention’s executive committee, agrees, adding that the safest thing for parents is to ensure that no inclined sleepers are being used.

“I would encourage parents to talk to day care providers and make sure their babies are put to sleep in a safe way, and not in a recalled product—but ideally not in any inclined sleeper,” Hoffman says.