Should a Day Care Center Worker Go to Jail for Hitting a Child? Video Surveillance and Standard of Proof - Criminal versus Civil Case
In day care centers throughout Florida including Miami, the children enrolled in the child care facility should be provided with safe and nurturing environment. It is important for child care providers and workers to have proper training, common sense, and, yes, patience to work with children. If working with children causing a person stress to the point that a child is hit and struck by a day care center work, that particular worker should be removed from the job, go to jail, and ultimately find a new career. Working with children is no easy task; however, employment in a child care facility or day care center is a voluntary choice by a day care worker. As such, no-one is forcing the day care worker to take the position. Unfortunately, far too many instances of abuse and neglect go unnoticed and unreported. Parents are kept in the dark and the children in the day care center are often victims without a voice and without the power to stop their abusers. However, in many other instances, the day care center worker is caught in the act by another co-worker, management, parents, or other children who take that bold step to report the incident and have the conduct addressed. It is clear that day care center workers should use their efforts and abilities to act in the best interest of the children. It is well known that the care and supervision of a children are not easy tasks; nevertheless, in Florida day care centers, corporal punishment is prohibited. There is no excuse or defense to the hitting, torturing, and harming of a child enrolled in a day care center by a the very people responsible for caring for the child.
It was reported by various media outlets that a day care center through a private charter school in Miami Beach was the site of the corporal punishment / abuse of children under the care of the child care center. In particular, a video surveillance camera revealed that a child care worker documented the hitting, twisting of arms, and other abuse of children who were in the 2 to 3 year old age group. When the abuse originally came to light, no immediate arrests were made. Then, after a week or so of further investigation by social service and local law enforcement, the day care center worker - Clara Luz Quintero-Gonzalez - was arrested. For more information regarding these incidents, see Miami, Florida Day Care Center Worker Arrested for Hitting Children Under her Care at the Lincoln Marti Day Care Center.
It should be noted that the criminal prosecution of a day care center worker is not a prerequisite or requirement for a parent to bring a civil action or claim on behalf of a child who was injured or harmed by a day care center provider. Certainly, it is quite compelling when a day care center worker is arrested following an allegation of abuse or neglect. Furthermore, having video surveillance that actually documents the alleged abuse or neglect can be used as evidence in the potential criminal case or civil case of abuse / neglect in a day care center. If there is believed to probable cause that a crime was committed, an arrest can and should be made. The further prosecution of the defendant will depend on the evidence gathered and potential defenses (if any) that may be raised in response to the allegations. The criminal allegations must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. For a civil case, the standard of proof is by the preponderance of the evidence with is lesser standard than for a criminal case.
David Wolf is a Child Injury Lawyer who handles personal injury cases on behalf of injured and abused children throughout the State of Florida. He is the author of 8 books including the book titled - Florida Day Care Center Injuries - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - Building Blocks of Knowledge for Parents. The book has chapters on Accident and Incident Reports, Corporal Punishment, and other topics. You can get the book for free at Florida Day Care Center Injuries.