No Podía Creerlo
Joanne Lee no podía creer lo que estaba ocurriendo en la guardería. Se suponía que era un lugar de refugio para su hija mientras ella trabajaba.
Pero cuando la recogió era todo lo contrario.
Pero ahora que había visto cómo funcionaban, se lo haría pagar. Cómo podían hacerle esto a una niña inocente?
Cuando recogió a su hija del colegio y vio que tenía el ceño fruncido, supo que algo iba muy mal. Pero con sólo 17 meses, aún no podía hablar.
Por eso no podía contarle a su madre lo que había pasado en la guardería. Tendría que deducirlo ella misma.
Por desgracia para ellos, en la guardería no tenían ni idea de con quién se estaban metiendo.
Joanne logró deducir que la infelicidad de su hija provenía de sus pies. Pero cuando los miró, sintió horror.
Se dio cuenta de que la guardería había envuelto los pies de su hija con cinta adhesiva. Tenía una pregunta candente en la cabeza: ¿por qué?
Pero, ¿obtendría las respuestas que quería cuando se dieran cuenta de quién era realmente?
Joanne Lee llevaba una vida normal en Houston (Texas). Había dos cosas en su vida que tenían prioridad sobre todo lo demás: su trabajo y su hijo.
Como madre soltera, le resultaba difícil compaginar su importante carrera con el cuidado de su hijo.
No era fácil, y sabía que necesitaba un poco de ayuda si no quería descuidar a su hijo. Para ello buscó una guardería.
La Pequeña Jenny
La pequeña Jenny sólo tenía 17 meses y era la típica niña alegre y despreocupada. Su padre abandonó a Joanne a los tres meses de embarazo.
Pero Joanne hizo todo lo posible por llenar el vacío que dejaba una figura paterna.
A pesar de ello, su desarrollo era completamente normal. Joanne se encontraba a menudo explorando nuevas ideas y conceptos – especialmente con su ropa.
Joanne se dio cuenta de que, después de vestirla, a veces se quitaba la ropa para entender cómo funcionaba el concepto.
Pero Joanne tuvo que enseñar a su hija a no hacerlo en público.
Pensó que su hija le haría caso. Pero no tenía ni idea de lo que hacía en la guardería.
El permiso de paternidad ampliado de Joanne acababa de terminar, y ahora tendría que volver al trabajo.
No le importaba porque era algo que le encantaba, pero el único problema era que, sin nadie más a su alrededor, ¿quién cuidaría de ella?
Jenny dependía de su madre para que se ocupara de todas sus necesidades, así que buscó alternativas para que eso sucediera, concretamente una guardería, pero no tenía ni idea de en qué estaba metiendo a su hija.
Mirando A Su Alrededor
Joanne empezó a buscar. Esta madre de 35 años necesitaba encontrar el mejor lugar posible para su hija.
No quería dejar a Jenny con extraños, pero no tenía elección.
En la zona de Houston había cuatro guarderías con buenas críticas. Ahora, Joanne solo tenía que encontrar una que se adaptara a lo que ella necesitaba.
Sopesar Sus Opciones
Joanne había reducido sus opciones entre Little Tots Daycare y Fair Hill Daycare. Había oído hablar muy bien de ambas, pero ¿cuál sería la mejor para su hija?
Investigó y buscó en los registros de opiniones. Al parecer, la guardería Fair Hill tenía un profesorado más amable y estaba más cerca de donde ella vivía.
Una vez decidida, no tenía ni idea de dónde se metía.
Como el trabajo empezaba ese lunes, Joanne se preparó y se aseguró de que Jenny entendiera que estaría separada de su madre brevemente cada día.
No era lo ideal, pero era lo mejor. Alguien tenía que cuidar de ella, y si no podía ser Joanne, estaba segura de que profesionales podrían ocuparse fácilmente de su hija.
No era una guardería barata, después de todo.
El Primer Día
Joanne, nerviosa, dejó a Jenny en la guardería y se fue a trabajar. Llevaba todo el día pensando en su hija mientras intentaba concentrarse en su trabajo.
Incluso distraída, seguía sintiéndose orgullosa de su trabajo.
Al final del día, Joanne corrió a la guardería para ver cómo habían tratado a su hija. La recogió y la llevó a casa antes de preguntarle cómo le había ido el día.
Comunicación No Verbal
La pequeña Jenny apenas podía hablar, pero Joanne había aprendido algunas de sus técnicas de comunicación no verbal.
Esto significaba que podía entender a su hija aunque no hubiera mucha comunicación verbal.
Una vez en casa, Jenny le preguntó cómo se sentía en la guardería. La niña miró a su madre y lo que ocurrió a continuación la sorprendió.
Su pequeña Jenny la miró y esbozó una amplia sonrisa. Luego ladeó la cabeza y se balanceó. Así supo Joanne que su hija era feliz.
Con el consuelo de saber que su hija estaba en buenas manos, Joanne estaba más que contenta de seguir dejándola volver cada día.
Pero no era consciente del oscuro giro que estaban a punto de tomar las cosas.
Un Cambio De Comportamiento
Tras unos días sin incidentes, Joanne empezó a notar algo extraño. Su hija había estado tan contenta y burbujeante después de cada día, pero ahora parecía diferente. Estaba casi tan contenta y animada como de costumbre.
De hecho, parecía como si estuviera disgustada por algo.
Joanne quería saber cuál era la causa, esperaba que sólo fuera que estaba experimentando su desarrollo, pero estaba muy equivocada.
Preguntarle De Nuevo
“¿Qué te pasa, cariño? ¿Por qué esa cara tan larga?”. le preguntó Joanne a su hija. Pero parecía que no tenía nada que comunicar.
“Venga. Puedes decirle a mamá lo que te pasa. ¿Hay algo que te preocupa? Joanna seguía sin obtener respuesta de su hija.
Lo atribuyó a las hormonas, pero desearía haber prestado más atención una semana después.
Al cabo de unos días, parecía que el estado de ánimo de su hija no hacía más que empeorar. Joanne se inquieta. ¿Por qué podría estar enfadada su hija?
Fue entonces cuando empezó a relacionar su infelicidad con la guardería.
Pero no tendría que esperar mucho para saber exactamente por qué su hija era infeliz. Le quitarían la expresión de ser ella misma.
No Podía Creer Lo Que Veía
Pocos días después, la guardería cometió un desliz. Lo que habían estado haciendo se lo mostrarían a Joanne la próxima vez que recogiera a su hija. Vio la cara de tristeza de Jenny cuando la recogió.
Pero cuando llegaron a casa, Joanne esperaba ver a su hija quitarse los zapatos como siempre hacía.
Pero esta vez no fue así. Fue entonces cuando miró sus zapatos.
Cinta Adhesiva En Los Pies
Joanne miró los pies de su hija y se dio cuenta de que los tenía envueltos en cinta adhesiva.
Se dio cuenta de que estaba muy apretado y no sólo le impedía moverse, sino que probablemente también le cortaba la circulación.
A Joanne le hirvió la sangre. ¿Qué creían que le estaban haciendo a su hija? Se aseguraría de que se arrepintieran de lo que habían hecho.
Quitar La Cinta
Desenrolló lentamente la cinta adhesiva de las piernas de su hija y le quitó los zapatos. Vio marcas rojas de donde la cinta había estado cortando la circulación.
Estaba segura de que no era cómodo para su hija.
¿Eran realmente la razón por la que su hija era infeliz durante todos estos días? Sabía que no podía permitir que se salieran con la suya.
Ni Idea De Quién Era
Joanne no podía creer que la guardería intentara salirse con la suya con algo tan inhumano.
Lo que más le molestaba era que no se hubieran atrevido a hacerle esto si supieran quién era.
Cuando se dieran cuenta del error que habían cometido, le pedirían perdón. Pero ella no tendría piedad.
Marching Into The Daycare
Joanne drove straight back to the daycare to confront them. She knew that what they had done was despicable, and they wouldn’t expect her retaliation. She hesitated for a moment.
They had slipped up by leaving the tape on her feet this time, but how many times before had they done it and quickly taken it off before she arrived?
She could bet it was every time her daughter looked miserable.
Once she was there, the confrontation began. She shouted at them and demanded to speak to the principal.
This took the caretakers by surprise, and they tried stammering out a reason as to why the principal was busy.
But the excuse they gave Joanne didn’t sit right with her at all. But wait until she told them exactly who she was.
On Second Thought
Joanne held her mouth. She decided not to say anything about the tape just yet. She tried to change the subject, and told the caretakers that the kids were slipping on the tiles.
This made Joanne see red. Why not let her daughter express herself and just take off her shoes?
She decided to take this straight to social media. But before that, she’d tell them who she was.
Joanne smiled at the caretakers and decided to give them a taste of what was to come. She reached to her hip and pulled off a badge, and showed it to them. “My husband and I are both in precinct 72.”
The caretakers looked shocked; they should have treated Joanne with some more respect.
Now they realized that she was – a cop. Now they looked really sorry. But not as sorry as they would be once she went to social media with the story. Then the manager would have to step forward.
Joanne knew that she couldn’t do anything as an off-duty cop, but she knew she could destroy their reputation so no one else would ever endanger their child by taking them there. She had to get the permission from her detective husband to install the hidden camera.
She took photos of her daughter’s red ankles and the tape next to them with a caption explaining what the daycare had done.
By the end of the day, the comments went crazy.
Hundreds of comments on social media all had the same opinion. They called out the daycare for creating such an unsafe environment for a child.
Joanne felt confident that the negative attention would stir a reaction from the daycare.
She had gotten the advice from a detective that worked in her precinct. If anyone knew how to be shrewd, it was a police officer, but first thing was first, she had to look out for her daughter.
Moving Her Daughter
Joanne had to look out for her daughter before she continued with her scheme. She wouldn’t let her be at that daycare any longer after what they did. But that left her in a difficult position.
She still needed someone to look after her daughter while she kept working.
Thankfully, her brother came into town to look after little Jenny for a few days while Joanne thought of a solution.
Little Tots Daycare
Joanne called up Little Tots Daycare and asked if they were letting applicants in. They welcomed her little Jenny, and now she could sleep easy knowing that her child would be looked after.
She was assured that nothing like the last incident would happen to her child.
Something she really hoped was true. And with that out of the way, someone called with impeccable timing.
Forgotten About Social Media
With the stress of organizing where her daughter would be safe, she had momentarily forgotten all about the social media stunt.
But just because she had forgotten didn’t mean that the rest of the world had.
She took a look at her post after leaving it for a few days. What she saw was surreal.
The post had blown up even more. There were polarizing views from everyone on the internet.
It seemed that everyone wanted to give their opinion. Joanne had never seen anything quite like it.
She hated getting a lot of attention, especially when it was her child. But she was glad the issue was such a hot topic for the community.
People from various places were using the post as a platform to debate right and wrong.
She didn’t think that anyone would have to think twice about what they did to her child being wrong or right, but commenters still shared their opinions.
She started reading through all of the ones defending the daycare. It was infuriating seeing how some people saw things.
Defending The Faculty
“Hear me out. I know everyone thinks that what was done was wrong, and I agree.
But I think it’s because the faculty clearly hasn’t been properly trained to deal with children. I vote for making sure they get the training they need instead of firing them.” One user wrote.
They brought up an important point, was this because the staff just wasn’t trained like they should have been? Or was it just carelessness?
Should Be Jailed
Thankfully, someone had already chimed in with a retort for the aforementioned post. They wrote, “Training? These people should be put on trial for child endangerment.
Imagine that was your child. I don’t care if they didn’t have the training.”
This got Joanne’s blood boiling all over again. Her police instincts and mother’s intuition made for a fine combo.
Just as Joanne felt catharsis from all the positive comments, her phone screen went black and started vibrating. A second later, she saw a number calling her. It was a terrible daycare.
Had they been pressured by her post that much that they were reaching out to her? And, more importantly, what did they have to say?
She answered the call and said a dry “Hello.”
As she greeted the caller, she wondered what they had to say. Had her sway as a police officer finally made a difference? She knew that all of the chips were on her side of the table.
Now she just had to play hardball and make sure they knew that the social media post was only a taste of what was to come if actions weren’t taken.
A man answered the phone and quickly said that he was the manager at the daycare. She smiled broadly.
The daycare manager made a formal apology to Joanne and assured her that it wasn’t what they normally did.
But that wasn’t what she wanted to hear. Joanne wanted repercussions for what all of them had done.
But what would the daycare do in response to a police officer’s daughter being treated so badly?
The daycare would feel pressured to do something about all of the negative feedback.
But the manager would turn to something more drastic than anyone could have anticipated.
The manager would turn to the staff in question that had done what they did to Joanne’s daughter. They would wish that they hadn’t ever crossed her child.
The staff that was with Joanne at the time would face harsh repercussions from their manager. But would it be too outrageous for even what people on social media wanted?
Joanne wanted the daycare to make things right. Wouldn’t any mother want the same?
Especially when your toddler is only 17 months old and can’t even object to what’s being done to her.
The manager called Joanne again with the news of what she had done. She told Joanne that all of the faculty in question had been dealt with.
When Joanne asked her to explain, she couldn’t believe what she had heard.
The faculty were, in fact, all fired. This controversial decision whipped social media up into an even bigger frenzy.
Just The Beginning
But that was only the beginning. After Joanne’s police station heard about what had happened, they took matters into their own hands.
Even if Joanne didn’t want them meddling in her personal affairs, it was too late now.
The story went all the way up the chain to the police chief – Joanne’s superior. Now it was out of her hands and things would only get worse for the kindergarten.
Captain Mama Bear
Joanne was outraged and which is why she immediately reported this inhumane practice to the authorities.
The Police Captain, Jane Holt, was a strong feminist woman who took Joanne’s complaint seriously.
She knew that something had to be done, so she decided to send her best detective, Ms. Santiago, undercover to Fair Hill. They had an important job to do.
Ms. Santiago enrolled her niece in the daycare center to see firsthand what was going on. Her niece Judy was a playful talkative girl but she always listened to her teachers.
The smart detective also implanted hidden cameras in the bookshelf to capture any evidence of wrongdoing.
Ms. Santiago was determined to uncover the truth about Fair Hill and the treatment of the children in their care.
Smile, You’re On Camera
Days went by, and Ms. Santiago observed the teachers’ behavior. She saw firsthand how they were hitting the children, taking their belongings, and being harsh with them in general.
The worst, was that after playtime, they would tape the children’s shoes onto their feet to prevent them from taking them off.
It was clear that something had to be done to protect these innocent children.
Just As I Thought
Captain Holt was not surprised by the evidence uncovered by Ms. Santiago’s investigation. She thought the teacher was arrogant to continue their abusive behavior when they were already suspects.
She knew that Fair Hill had to be shut down, and the teachers needed to be held accountable for their actions.
She immediately called in the authorities, and the school was closed down.
The captain organized a covert operation to catch the mean teachers in the act. It was time to move in.
Joanne’s heart pounded as she watched the police swarm the daycare center.
She had been horrified when she discovered that the staff at Fair Hill had been taping little girls’ shoes on, but she never imagined the extent of their inhumane actions until the undercover operation uncovered more disturbing behaviors.
Caught In The Act
The teachers were arrested, and they were charged with child abuse and neglect. The evidence that was captured on the hidden cameras was used to convict them.
It was a sad day for the parents of the children who had trusted Fair Hill to take care of their children.
As the teachers were led out in handcuffs, Joanne couldn’t help but wonder how they would react to being caught. She watched as they were loaded into police cars, their faces contorted with anger and disbelief.
I Can’t Believe My Eyes
Ms. Santiago, the undercover detective who had posed as a parent to gain access to the daycare, watched with a cold detachment as the teachers were taken away. She had seen firsthand the horrors they inflicted upon the children in their care and felt no sympathy for them.
Joanne was relieved that she had spoken up about the wrongdoing at Fair Hill. She was proud of herself for being an advocate for her daughter and the other children who were at the daycare center.
She knew that she had made a difference in their lives, and she was glad that justice had been served.
Children Are Saved
As for the children who had been mistreated, they were taken into protective custody, and their parents were informed about the situation.
Some parents said they also suspected something was wrong with the teachers, but they were too busy at their jobs to do anything about it.
They were given counseling and support to help them deal with the trauma they had experienced.
Glory For Us
Captain Holt was pleased with the outcome of the investigation. She knew that the children were safe, and justice had been served. She was proud of Ms. Santiago for her bravery and dedication to the case.
The whole team was proud knowing that they had saved the children from their area.
It was a joyous win for the precinct, but Captain Holt also knew that there would be others like them.
A Caring Cop
Ms. Santiago was grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these innocent children.
She knew that her undercover work had been instrumental in uncovering the truth about Fair Hill.
She was proud to be a part of the team that had shut down this abusive daycare center. The abusive teachers were defeated.
In the aftermath of the Fair Hill scandal, the city implemented stricter regulations for daycare centers. Parents were encouraged to speak up about any wrongdoing they observed, and they were assured that their complaints would be taken seriously.
A new parental body was created to find a new governing body for the school.
They would follow a strict interview process with continuous professional development.
Joanne was relieved to know that the city was taking steps to prevent something like this from happening again.
She knew that she would never trust a daycare center as blindly as she had before, but she was grateful for the regulations that were now in place.
The children who had been mistreated at Fair Hill were slowly healing from the trauma they had experienced. With the help of their parents, counselors, and support groups, they were learning to trust again.
Captain Holt continued to be a strong advocate for women’s rights and the protection of children. She knew that there was still work to be done, but she was proud of the progress that had been made.
Ms. Santiago continued to work as a detective, but she was always reminded of the case at Fair Hill.
She knew that her undercover work had made a difference, and she was proud to have been a part of it.
As the news of the daycare’s closure spread, parents flooded the streets, demanding answers and justice. They had trusted Fair Hill to care for their children, and now they were left wondering what other horrors had been inflicted upon them.
The teachers’ reactions varied as news of their arrest spread. Some were apologetic, admitting that they had gone too far in their punishment of the children.
Others denied any wrongdoing, insisting that they were simply doing what they thought was necessary to keep the kids in line.
It’s Not Enough
Unfortunately, some parents couldn’t wait until the official hearing and decided to take matters into their own hands. They went to the houses of the suspected teachers and started rioting outside. The angry parents were arrested for trespassing.
As they were booked into the police station, the teachers huddled together, whispering and occasionally breaking into tears.
They knew that their actions had been wrong, but they couldn’t bear the thought of the punishment that awaited them.
I Can’t Forget
In the days that followed, the parents of the children who had attended Fair Hill struggled to come to terms with what had happened.
They felt violated and betrayed, wondering how they could have missed the signs of abuse that now seemed so obvious.
As the trial went on, the teachers were found guilty. The video evidence was clear as day. The parents were also released from custody with a warning.
We Have No Choice
Many of the parents begrudgingly accepted the judges terms. But were not happy that those same teachers would soon be out of prison.
Joanne, in particular, was haunted by the thought that she had unwittingly left her own daughter in the hands of such cruel and callous individuals.
She vowed to do everything in her power to make sure that the teachers were brought to justice.
As the case made its way through the courts, the teachers maintained their innocence, even as evidence mounted against them.
They tried to plead their case to the judge, insisting that they had only been trying to discipline the children, but it was clear that no one was buying their story.
The verdict was final, they received a 3 year prison sentencing for child abuse.
The Video Doesn’t Lie
In the end, they were all found guilty of multiple counts of child abuse and sentenced to long prison terms.
As they were led away in handcuffs, they still protested their innocence, but it was too late.
Joanne and the other parents felt a gleam of hope in their hearts. They had won the battle, but the war on child abuse was not yet over.
Children Are The Future
For the parents and children of Fair Hill, the closure of the daycare marked the end of a dark chapter in their lives. They could finally move on, knowing that justice had been served and that their children were safe from harm.
As for Joanne, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that she had played a role in bringing the abusers to justice. She knew that she could never undo the harm that had been done, but she could at least take comfort in the fact that justice had been served.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.