Arkansas daycare worker accused of repeatedly pushing 4-year-old girl
An Arkansas daycare worker has been charged with assault and the state’s Department of Human Services has launched an investigation after video emerged showing the employee pushing a 4-year-old girl repeatedly, reports officials said.
DayDreana Fowler was charged with the third degree misdemeanor last month after a mother requested CCTV footage from her daughter’s day out from KidSPOT in Jonesboro.
Fowler called the mother, Angela Artis, on Feb. 11 to tell her that her daughter had “gone crazy,” according to a police report from the Jonesboro Police Department.
Artis went to the school to observe her daughter’s behavior and talk to her, according to the police report.
Fowler “told me my daughter was having a really awful day. She threw two shoes at two kids, hit them in the head and threw a chair at her,” Artis told NBC affiliate KAIT of Jonesboro. “It was a scare for me to go to school to see what was going on and that’s what I did.”
After watching her daughter, Artis said she took the 4-year-old for a short drive, according to the news station. The girl cried all the time and did not explain what happened.
When Artis returned her daughter to KidSPOT, which describes itself as “a unique program model that strives to meet the needs of all children,” she asked to view video footage from the day so she could see the behavior. of his daughter, according to the police. report.
A supervisor called Artis back, telling her her daughter hadn’t acted, but she saw “a teacher’s actions that were questionable,” according to the police report.
Video obtained by KAIT appears to show Fowler, with a phone to his ear, pushing the child at least three times. The child flies backwards and lands hard on its side the first time, according to the footage. Another teacher watches. The police report states that Fowler “also lifts her with one arm off the floor and drags her to the office.”
NBC News does not know what happened before or after the alleged incident seen in the footage.
Fowler is due in court next month. It is not known if she has a lawyer and efforts to reach her by phone have been unsuccessful.
On the day of the alleged incident, Fowler described what she said happened in a school incident report obtained by KAIT.
“She kept charging at me and I don’t remember pushing or touching her at all, I was trying to stop her from hitting,” she wrote.
KidSPOT did not respond to NBC News’ requests for comment. In a statement released to KAIT, KidSPOT said Fowler was fired.
“Upon learning of the allegations regarding an incident that occurred on February 11, 2022, KidSPOT immediately contacted the Child Abuse Hotline. KidSPOT was advised that the incident was not a reportable event. Nevertheless , based on our own investigation, KidSPOT terminated the employee in question,” the statement read.
A spokesperson for the state Department of Human Services told NBC News “there is an investigation in response to this incident on the facility licensing side, but that…is not yet complete. I don’t I have no further information on this at the moment.
Artis had already planned to remove his daughter from KidSPOT. February 11 was supposed to be his last day.
She said her daughter was having trouble trusting and communicating with her new teacher.
“There needs to be more audits, inspections, investigations and pop-ups at these facilities. Not just KidSPOT, but all facilities,” Artis told KAIT. “Parents trust that these teachers take care of them and provide a safe environment.”
Courtney Brogle contributed.