A Florida couple is suing their daughter’s Christian preschool for allegedly force feeding the 18-month old child.
Jamie Cleary, the girl’s mother, says that in July, her daughter came home from school with bruises on her cheeks, WPBF reported.
King’s Academy in West Palm Beach claims the bruises were the result of a teacher trying to take food out of the girl’s mouth as she chocked.
But surveillance video tells a different story.
Reports from the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office all say that video of the incident shows the toddler being force-fed by her teacher, WPTV reported.
The school has denied the allegations, saying the teacher was trying to get food out of the child’s mouth because she was choking.
“I bawled when I saw that statement because it was such a blatant lie,” Cleary told WPTV.
The two teachers who were in the classroom were fired because they did not follow safety protocols, WPTV reported.
Cleary is suing the school alleging that the director who said the girl had choked lied to her, and is still employed.
“I just want parents to know the truth about The King’s Academy and who is running The King’s Academy, and it is not, I don’t think it’s a safe place, I mean these babies can’t even defend themselves,” she told WPTV.
The video shows the teacher pushing the child’s head back several times while forcing food into her mouth, according to a police report, WPTV reported.
“This is obviously a clear-cut case of an assault and battery on an 18-month old child who obviously can’t speak or defend themselves,” Stuart Kaplan, an attorney for the Clearys said.
School President Randal Marin maintains that the teacher was helping the child who was choking.
“My point is, King’s trying to claim this, then just show the video, show parents the video, show everyone the video,” Cleary said.