Choosing a childcare provider is often stressful for parents. Leaving your child in the care of a stranger is no small thing, and parents want to believe that their child is safe. Sadly, many parents find their options limited due to finances. Tragically, evil exists in this world and that evil affects childcare too. One Michigan daycare is a recent example of many parents’ worst nightmare. The ABC Early Learning Center in Southfield, Mich., has been shuttered by authorities for, among other violations, a worker stabbing a child with a thumbtack.
After receiving multiple complaints about the facility owned by Brown Investment Group, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) conducted an investigation. They uncovered a horrendous list of violations and took prompt action to shut the daycare down. The agency issued an Order of Summary Suspension and Notice of Intent to Revoke License. The order details the abuse uncovered at the ABC Early Learning Center.
Among other violations, LARA alleges that lead caregiver Lauren Brown grabbed a child’s leg while holding a thumbtack between her fingers. The tack punctured the little boy’s skin. In an even more sadistic display of outright cruelty, it’s revealed in the order issued by LARA that:
On or about November 20, 2018, Ms. Brown hid a thumbtack between her fingers and called Child A [age redacted] over for a hug. When she hugged Child A, she placed her palm on his back, pressing the thumbtack into his shoulder. Child A yelled, “Ouch!” and quickly pulled away. Caregiver Angelique Turner witnessed the incident and recorded a video of the incident using her cellphone.
On the same day, Turner reported Brown to the daycare’s program director Rhonda Draper-Brown. After nothing happened, Turner showed the video she took to Draper-Brown. The incident was never reported to child protective services and the child’s parents weren’t notified. Later, when an inspector asked Draper-Brown about the incident, the program director said that “she was aware of the incident and that she had disciplined Lauren Brown and Ms. Williams by not allowing them to work together in [the] same classroom.”
Apparently, Rhonda Draper-Brown assumed that the presence of Angelique Turner provoked Lauren Brown to commit acts of heartless violence on young children. For the record, it has not escaped my attention that the program director and the primary caregiver who assaulted a child with a thumbtack have the same last name — the same last name in the title of the company that owns the now-shuttered daycare center.
If Brown was willing to stab a young child with a thumbtack, there are probably many more incidents of abuse that haven’t been uncovered. Hopefully, the State of Michigan will ensure that she is never allowed to work around children again and that the ABC Early Learning Center never reopens.