Law enforcement officials and child welfare authorities are investigating a Florida day care center after an 18-month-old boy was bitten more than a dozen times by another child, The Associated Press reported.
Amanda Beebe rushed to the J’s Bright Learners center in Bradenton on Aug. 29 after receiving a telephone call from an employee. Her son’s body was covered with more than a dozen bite marks, and his face, limbs and back were swollen and raw, Beebe said.
“It looked like he'd been mauled by an animal,” Beebe told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Now, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and child welfare authorities are investigating the center, and an employee there could face charges of child neglect.
A woman who answered the phone at J’s Bright Learners on Wednesday said no one there could comment.
Beebe, who put the toddler and his 4-year-old brother in day care so she could continue her education in alternative medicine, said that on Aug. 26, a worker at the center told her that the 18-month-old boy had been bitten once.
“We weren't upset — that happens with children,” said Beebe, who said she assumed workers would keep a watchful eye on the child with the biting issues.
Three days later, she got another call. This time, the employee said “it's bad, it's really bad,” Beebe said.
“As a mom, you don't ever know what you're going to do in a situation,” Beebe said. “The anger didn't set in until later.
“This is my son; he's been hurt. As a mom you feel like this was your fault."
She rushed him to a hospital, where doctors called authorities.
A week later, Beebe is shocked that no one's been arrested.
According to the Bradenton Herald, Florida's Department of Children and Families has issued violations to J's Bright Learners six times after its last 12 inspections, for leaving children unsupervised or failing to have enough staff to care for the number of children.
“I just want everyone to know this is not OK. I want justice," said Beebe, who published pictures of her boy's injuries on Facebook in a post that generated some 47,000 comments in a week.
She doesn't blame the other child — she blames the adults.
Her son received antibiotics and is healing, Beebe said.
"I'm just grateful it's not worse," she said." I'm trying to look at the bright side."