The workday can be long, and our evening routines often make it feel longer. We leave work, run an errand or two, sprint to the daycare to pick up our kids, all the while wondering what we will do for dinner. When we see our sweet little ones, we often move onto the next part of our evening without stopping.
North Carolina Mom Jessica Hayes stopped in her tracks when she picked up her seventeen-month-old daughter from Pleasant Hills Baptist Church Day Care. Her daughter’s shoes were taped to her feet.
Some moms may laugh it off, after all, toddlers’ shoes are constantly coming off and getting lost in the car, the crib, the playground, and anywhere else they may go. What upset Hayes was the manner with which they were taped. The tape was wound on so tightly it constricted blood flow and hindered movement. When Hayes removed the tape, her daughter’s feet were bruised and swollen.
Understandably upset, Hayes took to social media to share her story.
Another mother, Megan Cheek shared in comments on Hayes’ post her child was treated in the same manner but goes on to explain the daycare handled the situation swiftly. Director Maehsell Marly told a local news outlet she was upset by the incident. The worker who taped the children’s feet was terminated, and no charges were filed.
“Pleasant Hill Day Care in no way condones or allows any practice that would be harmful to a child. We have an outstanding group of caregivers who strive to meet the highest of expectations on a daily basis for the children in our care and what occurred in the shoe-taping incident is not a representation of who we are,” the church daycare wrote in a statement to parents.
While the original incident was unfortunate enough, Hayes is still upset at her treatment by other parents from the daycare. The backlash prompted her to set her Facebook account to private. Many parents and regular church attendees became upset Hayes shared the incident in such a public forum, tarnishing the church and its daycare’s reputation.
As a single mom, Hayes’ options for childcare are limited, so she sent her child back to the facility the next day. The stares and bad looks from other parents surprised her.
“My child and I have never felt so unwelcome by ‘Christian people,’ and this will be the reason my child gets removed once the opportunity arises,” Hayes wrote.
Hayes’ daughter will recover, and the terminated employee will likely find another job. The daycare continues to function, but what about Hayes’ heart? She was targeted for ridicule and now may never see the church, or Jesus, the same again. To us, this is the saddest part of this story.