Mom Jessica Hayes was steaming mad after she went to pick up her 17-month-old daughter from her Pleasant Hill daycare in Elkin, North Carolina, only to find out that staff there had taped her daughter's shoes to her feet. After peeling the masking tape off of her toddler's ankles, she took to Facebook to share photos and vent about the incident. Although most commenters agreed that she had a right to be upset, some felt she shouldn't have gone public about the incident.
In the images Hayes shared on Facebook last week, you can see multiple layers of masking tape wrapped around the child's shoes, apparently to tighten them and keep them on her feet. That's troublesome enough to this mom, but even more upsetting is that the tape on the child's right foot goes up over the top over her shoes and socks and is stuck to her skin.
"I am upset that this happened to my child as someone was clearly upset that she was learning take her shoes off and [did] it out of being aggravated. This was also not just her shoes being taped up it was around her ankle," she wrote on Facebook. "To the sports players who tape their shoes, they are older, have the say so in doing so, and are able to say it is too tight and bothering them. My 17-month-old child was unable to say anything."
The tape was so tight it left marks on her daughter's skin.
In addition to sharing the photos, Hayes gave more details about the incident on Facebook, saying that the tape “was left on long enough and tight enough to leave marks, cause swelling, and bruise.” Hayes claims the tape was used because staff were “aggravated.”
For most parents, seeing this done to their child would be upsetting and unacceptable. If it was done out of frustration because a 17-month-old was doing 17-month-old things, and by daycare staff no less, then that is also frightening.
"Yes it does hurt and break trust when you put that trust into two individuals who have been with my daughter since she was 6-weeks-old, and come in to her shoes being taped on her as well as her ankles," she wrote.
Upon seeing the tape on her daughter's feet, Hayes went directly to the daycare director, who, she wrote, "was just as speechless as I was."
Hayes then tried to remove the tape, but her daughter got upset (as a toddler would when you're trying to pull masking tape off their skin). Instead, she took her daughter home to remove it and then called the director to let them know that the tape had left marks on her daughter.
The daycare reacted quickly.
According to the mom, "Pleasant Hill Daycare took appropriate action and dismissed the two employees involved. There was a note to all parents to make aware an incident did occur, this note did not state names or exactly what happened as it shouldn’t. The names of these people I feel shouldn’t be mentioned as it is their privacy. I have personally spoken with the director and viewed the footage together we both feel the appropriate action was taken. This is all that matters as the parent and director feel appropriate action was taken."
But some commenters thought that Hayes was wrong for going public about the incident.
"I believe this is a rare and unfortunate incident that occurred," one parent wrote.
"I would still enroll my child — and plan on it! Most of the teachers have been there since before I was in daycare there and they have NEVER had an issue like this. It breaks my heart that people are bashing this facility because they are a wonderful facility. One of the new hires did something terrible and they punished her in the only way they could — by firing her (and her assistant)," another added.
But Hayes defended her reaction—as well as her decision to keep her girl enrolled there. "To those of you who feel I have created a bad name for this daycare and I should take my child out If have an issue. I hold my head high and feel I have done everything needed to be the voice of my child," she wrote. "I do not apologize for my opinion. In no way have I created a bad name for this daycare. Everyone has formed their own opinion on the daycare."
Despite feeling like she lost trust, Hayes explained that as a single parent, she is still depending on this daycare to watch her child so she can go back to providing for them. "My daughter went straight back to the daycare the very next day and rest of the week. As I feel comfortable to do so and WILL continue to do so," she wrote. "This being said EVERYONE else should be able to do the same. I am positive this won’t happen to another child as it has raise[d] awareness to all."
This post was originally published on Mom.me sister site CafeMom.