Child comes home with mark on arm after coming from Collier day care

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia
Published: Updated:

A mother is outraged after her child returned home from day care with a mark on his body.

The mom’s initial reaction was to believe that what happened had an innocent explanation, but now she thinks something else is going on and wants to know what.

Her little boy came home from day care with a mark on his arm and it prompted her to start asking questions.

When she didn’t like the answers, she grabbed her phone and recorded her son, asking questions about what happened.

“I asked questions like, well honey, maybe she didn’t punch you. Were you running and she tried to stop you, did she use open hands maybe it just hurt,” she said.

The 3-year-old boy said he had been punched by a teacher at Grace Community School in Golden Gate.

She recorded his response in case he forgot later on.

“Everything about the way they are acting is raising red flags and making my stomach flip. They are protecting themselves from something,” she said.

The woman is now looking for a new day care for her son because she is not happy with how the day care responded to her questions. WINK News is not naming the mother because she is worried other day cares won’t take her son because of the incident. The woman called WINK News in order to warn other parents about what happened to her child.

“In my head, it really went to innocence first, maybe he was running and somebody went to grab him and stop him,” she said. “I didn’t know or expect an outcome but I didn’t expect nothing.”

She said she took him back to school the day after in hopes that the administration would look into it and clear it up. But they didn’t, so she called the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy took a report and noted the mark on her son’s arm.

A report was also filed with the Department of Children and Families. The woman said a DCF representative went to the school to interview her son but the school wouldn’t allow it unless they recorded it.

When a detective went to the school, the woman said, the school wouldn’t let the detective talk to the teacher.

A Collier County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman confirmed that to WINK News, saying the teacher did not consent to an interview and law enforcement cannot compel her to provide a statement.

The sheriff’s office closed the case because “there was not probable cause for an arrest,” the spokeswoman said.

The school is not licensed or inspected by the state because Grace Community School has a religious exemption. DFC also would not comment to WINK News about the incident.

No one from the school would comment to WINK News about what happened.

“Basically my son fell in the grey area of he wasn’t hurt enough for it to count. But we should be thankful that he wasn’t hurt enough for it to count,” she said, adding, “As a parent not only do I feel like I couldn’t protect my child while he was there and now I can’t even defend him either.”

As for the mark on the boy’s arm? It lasted five days.

His mom’s biggest fear now is she believes nothing will ever get done.

“Going to sleep at night knowing that your child was hurt at the place you put them is really hard, a really hard pill to swallow,” the woman said. “Every path that I try to take to either get an answer or get this place investigated it all comes to a halt. So the only thing I could do was reach out to you and hopefully, this could be my closure so I can sleep and so I can feel better as a parent because I feel terrible.”

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