Articles Tagged with corporal punishment

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By David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer

Duct-Tape-300x202In day care centers in Missouri and across the nation, children are unfortunately subjected to various forms of corporal punishment in day care centers.  Most states have a prohibition according to the day care center government regulations against corporal punishment.  Despite these regulations, some day care center workers, for some reason or no reason at all, subject a child to corporal punishment.

In St. Louis, Missouri, there was a lawsuit filed against the Zion Lutheran Church, its daycare, and its employees, for the alleged abuse of a four-year-old girl. It was reported that the teacher at the daycare wrapped the child’s legs in duct tape after saying “I have some shiny red duct tape with your name on it.” The child admitted to running around when she was supposed to be napping, which is said to be the reason the teacher put duct tape on her legs in the first place. After the tape was put on, another member of the staff told her the tape would be removed when she behaved, which shows it was intended as a means of punishment. When the parents addressed the situation to staff, the situation was laughed over, and comments were made about how hyper their daughter can be.  It was reported that the daycare teacher has been said to have used duct tape as a means of controlling a child with two much energy. As a result, this family’s lawsuit alleges false imprisonment and assault, among other things, and is seeking over $25,000 in damages.  It should be noted that many courts have jurisdictional amounts or thresholds. In other words, an action can be pursued in a particular court if the amount in controversy if over a certain amount of money.  As such, in many cases, it is difficult to determine from the pleadings alone the amount that is ultimately being sought by the plaintiff / family of the injured child.

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By David A. Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer

Toy Blocks E & AIn Minnesota and other States, working parents rely on day care centers so that the parents can provide for their children.  While parents, given a choice, would have one parent at home or a family member at home to raise the child during the tender years, the economic realities of life make it necessary to put a child in a day care program.  Some day care programs are excellent while others are operated by ill equipped and trained people who open a day care center for the sole purpose of making a living.  The substandard day care centers often fail to get licenses, fail to train their staff, and fail to look after the best interest of the child.  In addition to training of staff and maintaining a safe environment, there is something else that is needed in every day care center in the form of “patience”.  It is well known that children, especially infants, will cry and fuss.  Because of this, it does take a certain temperament, personality, and, yes, patience to properly care for a child in a day care center.

A bizarre set of facts took place recently in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  It was reported that a day care center provider got fed up with her job and placed a child in a noose to hang the child. The day care provider then took off in a vehicle in a hurry and then got into an automobile accident that was reportedly her fault.  You can read more about these incidents at Day Care Center Faces Criminal Charges in Minneapolis Minnesota Following Hanging of Baby.

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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Day Care Video Surveillance.001When a child is injured at a day care center, it can at times be a mystery as to how and why the child was injured.  This is especially true when a day care center work lies or hides acts of abuse, neglect, and corporal punishment.  Video surveillance, at times, captures the very acts of abuse or neglect inflicted by the very same day care center providers who have the legal duty to protect, support, education, and care for the child.  Most states prohibit any kind of corporal punishment and criminalize the acts.  As such, if a day care center work strikes a child, criminal charges can be brought against the day care center work; however, it should be noted that the criminal prosecution of a day care center worker caught on video hitting a child is not automatic.
Each incident or case is evaluated by the local law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office to determine if a crime was committed and if enough evidence can be presented to successfully prosecute the day care center worker.  If bad acts are caught on video, many people may assume that the day care center work is going to jail or prison; however, no assumptions or presumptions should be made on any particular case as to criminal prosecution.  Furthermore, it should be noted that the pursuit of a civil case is also something that needs further review by the parents and a Child Injury Lawyer as to the elements of the case and the practicality of pursuing the case.  The elements of a civil case or claim for day care center negligence, harm, assault, or corporal punishment are as follows:
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By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Building Block - M - Day Care CenterIn Connecticut and other States, day care centers, schools, and summer camps should be safe havens for children. Unfortunately, at these very locations, children are subject to abuse, neglect, and corporal punishment. Let’s face it. Children, at times, will misbehave and fail to follow instructions. However, this is no reason for hitting or striking a child in a day care, school, or summer camp setting. In fact, there are no good reasons to justify the abuse, neglect, corporal punishment, or exploitation of a child. When a child is abused or neglected in a child care setting, there may be one or more legal proceedings that result from the alleged bad conduct of the day care provider. There may be an arrest or criminal prosecution in the form a criminal case. There may be a fine levied against the day care center or a suspension of the license in the form of an administrative procedure. There may also be a civil case or claim against the individual day care center provider and / or business for the injuries / damages suffered by the child. It should be noted that the pursuit of any one of the three types of cases are not dependent on each other. For instance, a civil case or claim can be pursued even if there are no criminal charges filed.

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By  David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury LawyeBlog

Building Block - M - Day Care CenterWorking parents and guardians rely upon day care centers to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children.  Unfortunately, at some day care centers, a day can be filled with neglect and abuse at the hands of the very caregivers responsible for keeping the children safe and out of harm’s way.  The truth is that many child care providers lack the training and financial motivation to do a good job.  Many child care providers are immature and just lacked the proper upbringing and maturity to provide the necessary care for children.  It is a known fact that children misbehave or do not follow all instructions.  This is especially true for infants and toddlers.  It is certainly an expected part of the job to deal with difficult children or good children who occasionally misbehave.   The child care provider needs to have patience, understanding, and a strong conviction to do the right thing and to act in the best interest of the child.  When a child care provider is accused of wrongdoing, a police investigation and criminal investigation may result.   Police and prosecutors are quite busy and do not pursue or prosecute every case or incident that is reported.   As such, many acts of wrongdoing may not be prosecuted if investigators do not believe that the injuries warrant OR if investigators believe that proof of the malicious intent cannot be provided beyond a reasonable doubt.
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By  David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury LawyeBlog

Building Blocks Glossy - P - Day Care CenterUnfortunately, spankings and corporal punishment are still prevalent in many communities.  It is a tradition that has been literally handed down from generation to generation.  While there may be some time and family history to spankings and corporal punishment, the fact is that most States ban such activities and disciplinary measures in most day care centers and child care facilities.  Some church based or religious based institutions may have an exception from such State regulation.  Even in circumstances where spankings and corporal punishment are permitted, there are still child abuse laws in place that make it actionable or criminal if the spanking or corporal punishment is excessive and causes physical marks and / or the need for medical evaluation and treatment.  Clearly, the best way to make sure that a child is not subjected to excessive corporal punishment is just to refrain from it completely.   Corporal punishment and spankings put a child at risks especially by an adult who does not fully realize the size differential and the force that is applied when engaged in corporal punishment or spankings. Furthermore, it should be noted that many day care providers are angry when giving out punishments which can lead a day care provider to be out of control and really cause significant permanent injuries to the child.

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By  Steven R. Smith, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Building Block - W - Day Care CenterSchools and day care centers should be a place in which children are cared for in a nurturing, clean, and supportive environment. Unfortunately, at some schools and day care centers, the child care providers bring in their own sense of right and wrong.   Certainly, there are archaic and dangerous disciplinary actions that put children at risks.  Even if the child care provider was subjected to this very same punishment as a child, this does not excuse or justify the implementation of this type of punishment at a school or day care center.   Here is a simple statement to consider.  Abuse is abuse.  Of course, laws, regulations, and ordinances are more complicated than this simple statement.  It is important for day care centers and schools to follow the laws, regulations, and ordinances.  Many such rules are in place to protect the children.   It is interesting to note that some disciplinary tactics used by child care providers are similar to those improperly used against adult prisoners.   Certainly, a child is not a prisoner and should not be treated like one.  Furthermore, it is well known and should be expected that a child will misbehave and fail to follow directions.  Child care providers should be prepared to supervise the children in a safe and supportive environment.   The day care center rules and regulations should be followed.  In addition, the child care providers should adhere to and follow the laws in place.  Finally, common sense should always be used when caring for children.
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By  Steven R. Smith, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

Kids Wooden Block Spelling Mum As Symbol for Motherhood And Parenting

New York Child Care Regulations

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In professional sports, there is a wide gambit of behavior for coaches and players.   Many are wonderful role models who use their celebrity, good work, and inspiration to help others and improve the community and beyond.  Other professional athletes, however, by a single act or many bad acts put the league and professional sports in general in a bad light.  The National Football League is tested on a daily basis to bring entertainment to the masses while at the same time policing its own players, coaches, and other personnel.  It is a tough balancing act  but an important one especially since the players and coaches are looked upon for guidance, inspiration, and, yes for role modeling.   Recently, the NFL issued a firm statement regarding the playing status and suspension of one of the finest athletes in the NFL – Adrian Peterson.  While the suspension was handed down to one individual by the name of Adrian Peterson, the carefully and well crafted words of Roger Goodell took a strong stance against corporal punishment and child abuse.  As so aptly pointed out by Goodell, the injury was inflicted on a child who was only 4 years old.  Goodell pointed out that the size and strength of the child was so much different than that of Peterson.  Furthermore, Goodell pointed out that unlike an adult – a child had no realistic ability to fight back, flee, or seek the assistance of law enforcement.  Then, Goodell noted that the switch (i.e. tree branch) was the equivalent of a weapon that Peterson repeatedly used on his son.  Goodell then noted that Peterson indicated that he would not stop “whopping his kids” in the future.  (It should be noted that Peterson recently stated that he would never use a switch again on his son.)  These statements caused much concern to Goodell about Peterson’s proclivity to repeat these criminal acts and inflict harm on a defenseless child.  Because of all of the above and more, the NFL is requiring Peterson to undergo counseling and to sit out the rest of the 2014 season. His reinstatement in 2015 will depend on Peterson’s compliance and the results of counseling and treatment.