Couldn’t Believe It
Joanne Lee couldn’t believe what had been unfolding at the daycare. It was supposed to be a place of sanctuary for her daughter while she was working.
But it was quite the opposite when she picked her up.
But now that she had seen the way they operate, she would make them pay. How could they do this to an innocent child?
When she picked up her daughter from school and saw the frown on her daughter’s face, she knew something was terribly wrong. But at just 17 months old, she couldn’t speak yet.
This meant that she couldn’t tell her mother what had happened at the daycare. She’d have to deduce that herself.
Unfortunately for them, the daycare had no idea who they were messing with.
Joanne managed to deduce that her child’s unhappiness came from her feet. But when she looked down at them, horror crept over her.
She noticed that the daycare had wrapped tape tightly around her daughter’s feet. She had a burning question on her mind – why?
But would she get the answers she wanted once they realized who she really was?
Joanne Lee lived a normal life in Houston, Texas. There were two things in her life that took priority above all else – her job and her child.
As a single mother, it was difficult juggling her important career and looking after her child.
It wasn’t easy, and she knew she needed a bit of help if she didn’t want to neglect her child. This meant looking for a daycare.
Little Jenny was only 17 months old and was your typical happy–go–lucky toddler. Her father abruptly left Joanne just three months into her pregnancy.
But Joanne tried her best to fill the void that a father figure left.
But despite that, her development was completely normal. Joanne would often find herself exploring new ideas and concepts – especially with her clothing.
Taking It Off
Joanne noticed that after dressing her, she sometimes took her clothing off as a way of understanding how the concept worked.
But Joanne had to teach her daughter not to do that in public.
She thought that her daughter would listen to her. But she had no idea what she was doing at the daycare.
Getting Too Much
Joanne’s extended paternity leave had just ended, and now she’d have to go back to work.
She didn’t mind because it was something that she loved, but the only issue was that without anyone else around, who would look after her?
Jenny relied on her mother to take care of all her needs, so she looked to alternative ways of making that happen – specifically a daycare, but she had no idea what she was getting her child into.
Joanne started looking around. The 35-year-old mother needed to find the best possible place for her daughter to go.
She didn’t want to leave Jenny with strangers, but she had no choice.
There were four daycares in the Houston area that all had good reviews. Now, Joanne just had to find one that would suit what she needed.
Weighing Up Her Options
Joanne had narrowed down her options between Little Tots Daycare and Fair Hill Daycare. She had heard stellar things about both of them, but which would be the best for her daughter?
She did her research and scoured through records of reviews. It seemed that Fair Hill Daycare allegedly had kinder faculty and was closer to where she lived.
With her mind made up, she had no idea what she was getting into.
For The Best
With work starting that Monday, Joanne got ready for it and made sure Jenny understood that she’d be separated from her mom briefly each day.
It wasn’t ideal, but it was for the best. Someone had to look after her, and if it couldn’t be Joanne, she was sure professionals could easily handle her child.
It wasn’t a cheap daycare, after all.
Joanne nervously dropped Jenny off at the daycare and went on her way to work. She was thinking about her daughter the whole day while she tried to focus on her work.
Even distracted, she still prided herself in her work.
At the end of the day, Joanne rushed to the daycare to see how they had treated her little girl. She picked her up and took her home before asking her how her day was.
Little Jenny could barely speak, but Joanne had learned some of her nonverbal communication techniques.
This meant that she could understand her daughter even if there wasn’t a lot of verbal communication.
Once they were home, Jenny asked how she was feeling about the daycare. The little girl looked up at her mother, and what happened next surprised her.
Her little Jenny looked up at her and gave a broad smile. She then cocked her head to the side and swayed. That’s how Joanne knew that her daughter was happy.
With the comfort of knowing her daughter was in safe hands, Joanne was more than happy to keep letting her go back every day.
But she was unaware of the dark turn things were about to take.
A Change In Behavior
After a few days without incident, Joanne started noticing something strange. Her daughter had been so happy and bubbly after every day, but now she seemed different.
She was nearly as happy and upbeat as she normally was.
In fact, it seemed as if she was upset about something. Joanne wanted to know what the cause was, she hoped it was just her undergoing her development, but she was so wrong.
Asking Her Again
“What’s wrong, sweetheart? Why the long face?” Joanne asked her daughter. But it seemed as if she didn’t have anything to communicate.
“Come on. You can tell mommy what’s wrong. Is there something bothering you? Still, Joanna couldn’t get a response out of her child.
She chalked it up to hormones, but she would wish she had paid more attention just a week later.
After the next few days, it seemed that her daughter’s mood was only getting worse. This was worrying news for Joanne. What could her daughter be upset about?
This was when she started linking her unhappiness with the daycare.
But she wouldn’t have to wait long until she found out exactly why her daughter was unhappy. They would take away her expression to be herself.
Couldn’t Believe Her Eyes
Just a few days later, the daycare slipped up. What they had been doing would be shown to Joanne when she next picked her daughter up.
She saw the miserable look on Jenny’s face when she picked her up.
But once they got home, Joanne expected to see her daughter kick off her shoes like she always did. Except for this time, she didn’t. That’s when she looked down at her shoes.
Tape On Her Feet
Joanne looked down at her daughter’s feet and noticed that she had taped wrapped up all around them.
She could tell that it was tight and not only hindered her range of motion but also probably cut off her circulation.
Joanne’s blood began to boil. What did they think they were doing to her little girl? She’d make sure that they regretted what they had done.
Getting The Tape Off
She slowly unwrapped the tape on her daughter’s legs and pulled off her shoes. She saw red marks from where the tape had been cutting off her circulation.
She was sure that it wasn’t comfortable for her daughter.
Were they really the reason that her daughter was unhappy for all of these days? She knew that she couldn’t let them get away with this.
No Idea Who She Was
Joanne couldn’t believe the daycare for trying to get away with something so inhumane.
The biggest thing that got to her was that they wouldn’t have dared do this to her if they knew who she was.
Once they realized the mistake they had made, they would beg her for forgiveness. But she would show them no mercy.
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.