The mother of a 4-year-old boy says her son was fed hot sauce at day care as punishment.
Melaina Whitley says her son Tanner, 4, came home early from Friendship Paediatric Services last month and was throwing up, reports KATV.
“I thought maybe just like a stomach virus or something, but it only lasted about a day,” Whitley said.
Tanner later told her he was given hot sauce at school as a punishment for hitting a friend.
“When he said hot sauce, I thought maybe pop tarts, and I was like, ‘Hot sauce?’ Because I didn’t know he knew the word hot sauce, so I know she had to have told him, ‘I’m giving you hot sauce’,” Whitley said.
Friendship Paediatric Services is a day care for children with special needs. Tanner was going there for speech therapy.
“You just don’t expect that. They’re supposed to be qualified to work with special needs children and they’re supposed know to not give hot sauce,” Whitley said.
Whitley says after confronting the teacher about the incident, she called police.
“I know when she was like, ‘Let me give you hot sauce,’ he didn’t just say, ‘Okay, cool,’ and open his mouth. It must have been forced because he wasn’t just like, ‘Here give me some hot sauce.’ He said he was crying and had to get water and it was nasty. I don’t know if this was the first time or he was the only child.” Whitley said.
In a Bryant Police Department report, the day care director, Karla Curry, told the officer that the teacher admitted to putting hot sauce in the child’s mouth and the teacher said it’s a common discipline for children in her culture.
According to DHS, the only approved discipline method is time-out. While DHS won’t confirm a child maltreatment investigation, Channel 7 was there Monday as DHS visited their home.
“They should at least fire her I think. Just anything, just something at all. I know for a fact she still works there,” Whitley said.
The director wouldn’t confirm if the teacher is still working there, but sent a statement confirming the day care was cooperating with a DHS investigation.
Share your comments below.
Image via shutterstock