Galloway daycare under investigation after 2-year-old injured
A Galloway Township daycare center is under investigation after a 2-year-old boy’s face was badly bruised while in their care.
Jehan Attiyeh got a call from Children’s Academy saying her son woke up from his nap with a bruise on his face, she said.
But when she got sent a picture of the boy, she had one question: “Who smacked my son?”
The incident report from the daycare lists the type of injury as “bruise” and “blotchy.”
Attiyeh took her son to the hospital, where she said the medical personal agreed the shape on her son’s head was an adult handprint.
While the boy is autistic and non-verbal, his twin brother spoke up for him, Attiyeh said.
In a video sent to BreakingAC, the twin says his brother “run away, and then she like boop,” and smacks his own face.
When his mother gasps, the boy looks at her asking, “What?”
“Who did that?” she asks.
“The teacher,” he replies. “The teacher hit his face.”
“I just want to take a minute to notify parents that there is an allegation of abuse against 2 staff members,” owner Liz Palmer wrote in a message to parents obtained by BreakingAC.
“As is required by us, we have reported the case to the State of New Jersey Division of Institution Abuse and the NJ Office of Licensing,” she wrote. “This matter is now an active investigation.”
She ends the note saying: “What I hope is the take away from this, is that, in all of this process, the safety and well being of the children remain our utmost concern.”
There are cameras at the daycare but Attiyeh said she was told they are only for live watching and nothing is recorded.
It was not clear whether the two staffers are still working at the center.
“Unfortunately, because it’s an ongoing investigation, we can’t discuss anything,” a woman who answered the phone at the center told BreakingAC.
But Attiyeh said she is not staying silent. She wants the photos of her son’s bruised and scratched face to be seen.
“My main goal is to bring awareness,” she said. “It hurts to see your child like that.”
One of the two teachers in the room wasn’t even supposed to be around her child, Attiyeh said, after her other son had a scratch on his ear attributed to her.
She said she filed a report with the former administrator, but the current leadership didn’t seem to have any record of it.
She has spoken with both a Galloway Township detective and an investigator with the Department of Children Protection and Permanency.
Attiyah and her wife, who live in Hammonton, are now taking off work to be able to keep their children, including a 3-year-old girl, at home.
“I don’t feel content with sending my kids anywhere right now,” she said.