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Can a Teacher or Day Care Worker Be Arrested for Child Abuse / Corporal Punishment?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Louisiana and other States, children are the unfortunate victims of abuse and neglect. The victimization of a child can take place at a home, relative’s home, friend’s home, in public, and, yes, even in a day care center. When a child is enrolled in a day care center, the facility has a duty to provide the child with a safe and clean learning environment that is free from abuse. The staff should be well trained. Furthermore the staff should have the personality and patience to be able to optimally and safely work with children. Day care center workers that are unhappy with their jobs, inpatient, immature, or just lazy may end up lashing out at a young child. It is well known that children do not always listen and at times disobey adults. Furthermore, children, especially day care age children, will cry and make messes. If a day care center worker cannot handle the foreseeable and common acts associated with young children, the the day care worker should not be employed in that position. For the safety and well being of the children, a more qualified and patient day care center employee should fill the position by the day care worker who simply cannot or will not handle the serious and important responsibilities of the job.

When a day care worker abuses a child in a day care center, can the day care center worker be prosecuted or arrested for the abuse or corporal punishment? The simple answer to this question is “Yes”. However, it should be pointed out that not every single instance of abuse or corporal punishment rises to the level that local law enforcement / prosecutors will issue an arrest warrant. The arrest / prosecution of a day care center worker accused of abuse, neglect, or corporal punishment will depend on a number of factors including the following:

*Date of the incident compared to when the incident was reported;

*Witnessed to the incident;

*Injuries sustained by the child;

*Other evidence of the incident / abuse (i.e. photographs, videotape, incident reports);

*Cooperation and information provided by the day care center; and

*Other factors.

If a parent suspects that a child has been abused in a day care center, the parent should take action to report the issues to the day care center management, the social service agency in charge of regulating day care centers in the State, and / or local law enforcement.

In Louisiana, two day care center workers were arrested in August 2013 after law enforcement reviewed video footage of the day care center workers hitting and otherwise abusing children at the Bellaire Learning Center. This private Christian based learning center employed individuals who allegedly abused and intimidated the children rather than show patience, compassion, and due care of the children enrolled in the facility. You can read more about this story and see some of the video at Parents Share Video of Possible Day Care Center Abuse. The day care center workers will be entitled to legal representation by a criminal defense attorney or by the local public defender’s office.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Day Care Cener Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, Medical Care / Insurance, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.