Woman claims child hurt at daycare, teacher in question fired

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- A West Valley mother said Thursday she filed a police report and hired a lawyer, on allegations that a daycare center abused her son.

The child care center confirmed they've fired a teacher after an incident involving the woman's son.

Aniessa Shryers said her 3-year old son came home with a black eye last Thursday from ABC Great Beginnings in West Jordan.

She said she contacted school administration about it on Saturday. On Monday, she indicated that a teacher told her that the teacher witnessed concerning behavior from another teacher.

"There was an incident that two teachers had witnessed, of the teacher pulling my son down the slide by his arm," Shryers explained.

She said the teacher also told her that the teacher had gotten a glimpse of that particular employee mistreating children and yelling at them.

On Tuesday, Shryers said she confronted the teacher, who she said admitted to the slide incident. Shryers also complained to the center.

"That's when they decided to tell me like, 'Oh, yeah that happened and we wrote her up about it,'" Shryers recounted, of the slide grabbing incident. "And was like, 'Why didn't you say anything to me?'"

Shryers said she contacted police.

Johnny Anderson, President of ABC Great Beginnings explained that they wrote up the teacher in question after the slide incident, but that the teacher did not cause the boy's black eye.

He said the teacher abruptly led the boy down the slide, after the 3-year-old had been climbing up the slide and been asked a few times not to do so.

The same teacher's been talked to about her behavior before, he indicated.

"This teacher had had a previous verbal warning about raising her voice to children, so this written warning that she got was also a final warning," he explained.

When Shryers made her complaint on Tuesday, he said they immediately launched an investigation, put the teacher on administrative leave and reviewed surveillance footage.

He said surveillance showed the boy falling on his face on the slide, while he tried to climb up it. ABC Great Beginnings was not able to release the video.

"You see him fall and hit his face right on that middle divider," Anderson said, describing what the video showed while pointing to the slide.

He said surveillance shows the teacher later abruptly leading the young boy down the slide, but not in a way that would hurt his face.

On Wednesday, ABC Great Beginnings fired the teacher, because Anderson said their investigation found she violated the center's "hands-off" policy when she grabbed the boy.

However, he said the teacher's actions didn't violate the law, or classify as abuse.

"We have a duty to report anything that we believe is abusive in nature," he said, later adding, "That isn't really what we saw. We saw a teacher, it looked like she lost her patience."

He said they are fully cooperating with police in the investigation.

Shryers isn't convinced that her son's black eye was from falling on the slide. She said in recent months, he's complained about the same teacher.

"He's been being mistreated at school, he's coming home and telling us about it," Shryers said. "He's like, 'Well the teacher hits me.'"

The mother has now hired a lawyer to take on the case, and pursue legal action.

Shryers' son no longer attends daycare at ABC Great Beginnings.

West Jordan Police confirmed Thursday they received a report of an assault on a child from the daycare.

They said they've forwarded the case to the Division of Child and Family Services, which is actively investigating the claims. Police said they have not made any arrests.