A four-year-old girl was reportedly tied up with red duct tape by a day care worker at Zion Lutheran Learning Center, a Jesus-centered program for children who are pre-Kindergarten, when she refused to lie still for her nap.
According to the Riverfront Times, the girl — only identified as “E.D.” — told her mother that “Mr. Josh” tied her up at the Valley Park, Missouri center. Zion Lutheran later admitted the story was true; the man was identified as Josh Reeves.
To the couple’s shock, not only had no one reported the incident to the state, which regulates day care facilities, but Reeves had faced no discipline for his actions. The supervisor the couple spoke with laughed it off “a silly thing” and suggested Reeves might need to take another training course.
The girl’s family has sued the church and its so-called “day care” program, alleging “false imprisonment, assault, battery, negligence, negligent supervision, negligent retention, and civil conspiracy,” but her father Joseph Day said he didn’t intend to sue at first. The family “kept trying to give them an opportunity to fix it,” he said.
But, he says, the day care seemed intent on minimizing the incident. It was only after he pushed and prodded that they even reported the incident to the state of Missouri. And though E.D.’s teacher had promised the couple that Reeves would be kept away from his little girl, Day says, he soon learned that “Mr. Josh” had been there when she was hit by another child on the playground. It was only after learning that fact that the Days pulled E.D. out of the daycare, maxing out their vacation time to cover her care until they could find a new facility.
It doesn’t seem like this a just a problem with one poorly trained employee, so the whole program and church may be held accountable, and I say that not because it is a Christian group but because other workers are culpable. In fact, according to the report, the Days requested to talk about the incident and their concerns were largely ignored.
Bizarrely, the Days learned that after the teacher supervising Reeves encountered their daughter hog-tied, she decided the best way to downplay the situation was to tape up the other kids, too, and have them all hop down the hallway to make a game of it.
Even worse, at a meeting the Days demanded to discuss the incident with the daycare’s board of directors, one of the board members joked about how much energy their daughter had. He figured, he told them, that “she’d be the one to be tied up.”
To this day, the daycare and its board have failed to agree to terminate Reeves as E.D.’s parents have demanded. The group has reportedly given a number of excuses for not taking action, but the time for that is over. The state needs to hold this man, and his faith-based employers, accountable for dangerous and unlawful acts against at least one child. Time will tell if there have been similar incidents with other kids at this institution, but I truly hope that’s not the case.
The Days’ attorney, Jeremy Hollingshead, said all parents rely on day care workers to provide their children with quality care.
“It is difficult enough for parents to place their child’s safety into the hands of others… When they do, they trust caregivers to provide the same level of care and attention to their child as they would. Sadly, that did not happen in this case.”