On September 22, the Elk Grove Tribune broke the story of Henry, 8 year old victim of child abuse at KinderCare Learning Center located at 5448 San Juan Avenue in Citrus Heights. Shortly after our story, the daycare facility received news coverage by KCRA regarding the incident. Also, Henry suffered from torn ligaments as a result of being grabbed aggressively and dragged down the hallway to the administration office before being thrown to the ground by the lunch lady.
A Parent’s Worst Nightmare
After hearing about the incident from her son, Robin, Henry’s mom was overwhelmed with confusion and stress. The emotions have since turned to disappointment and anger. Unquestionably, the family is not the only one upset.
Justin Ward, the family’s attorney spoke out. “We are mad at everyone involved for not doing their job immediately. If this was any of their children there already would’ve been an investigation.” The inept care that was shown to her son at the hands of this child care facility is inexcusable.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the children in our care, ” says KinderCare.
After the incident was reported, KinderCare said the Management Team reported the issue to CPS and State Licensing after first hearing of it from Henry’s parents. However, Robin’s initial call to Henry’s teacher in an approved recorded conversation revealed staff witnessed the abuse. The staff did not escalate the situation or contact the family. Shockingly, the abuse was not reported to the family and local authorities.
KinderCare claims they put the employee on administrative leave while they conducted their own internal investigation.
The Family Demands Answers
The family demanded a video of the abuse to be released. To date, no video has been released. Additionally, they asked the perpetrator to be fired and other staff reprimanded for lack of due diligence. Furthermore, the family asked for policies put into place to ensure this never happens again. The government-funded facility should be audited for other incidents that may have been overlooked and to bring awareness to the public.
Henry’s Story Is Being Told
Henry’s story is being told. He was physically hurt by an adult meant to protect and support him. Certainly, KinderCare failed Henry and his family and their own guidelines they set to uphold by not taking the proper steps and filing a police report. Furthermore, the only police report was made by Henry’s mother.
Henry knew he was not being treated fairly at the time but now is left to deal with not seeing his friends anymore. Also, he doesn’t get to see the teacher he bonded with over a 4 year span. Lastly, children internalize such situations and now he is left with emotional scars of separation. He thinks this is his fault.
This system failed him. Moreover, the delayed response by the KinderCare facility gave the adult perpetrator the illusion that they are above reproach and that this conduct was allowable at their facility. Henry is a child. Additionally, Henry deserves compassion, time, and energy, not to be ignored, shut out, and disciplined for being a child.