Child left in closet at day care; employee fired after discovery - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Child left in closet at day care; employee fired after discovery

Angela Dodd was horrified when she discovered what happened to her daughter at the KinderCare Learning Center on Pleasant View Road. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Angela Dodd was horrified when she discovered what happened to her daughter at the KinderCare Learning Center on Pleasant View Road. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - A Memphis mother says her 4-year-old daughter was left in a day care closet.

Angela Dodd was horrified when she discovered what happened at the KinderCare Learning Center on Pleasant View Road. Another mother told her a story that was hard to believe.

"She came to me and was like, 'Is that the little girl that was put in the closet?' And I was like, 'No, I don't think so.' She [Dodd's daughter] goes 'Yeah, I was put in the closet.' I was like, 'What do you mean?'"

That's when Dodd says the school director defended what happened, and said the employee who put her child in the closet was fired.

"They were trying to cover it up like nothing happened."

Her child was not injured and it was unclear how long the toddler was left alone in the closet.

"She [Dodd's daughter] said 'I missed y'all. And so I was crying.' I said, 'That wasn't you being bad.' Even if she was being bad, that's not how you punish a child."

Dodd called Memphis Police Department; an investigation is underway.

Now, Dodd is searching for justice as she worries about the next time she drops her daughter off at school.

"That's why I didn't put her in day care before she could talk and tell me anything," Dodd said. "Because I see so much stuff go on about people getting caught abusing kids, and she's been there three days and this has already happened."

"It was already hard to leave her because she was already scared and not wanting to go… Now, I don't know if she'll ever want to go to school."

KinderCare responded with the following statement:

Yesterday [Monday], the Center Director at our Pleasant View KinderCare Learning Center observed a child sleeping on a cot in the classroom closet. Although the closet door was open and we understand that no harm was intended, treating a child in this manner is unacceptable and is not in accordance with our policies. We view our families as extensions of our own, and it's important for families to know that their child is in a safe, nurturing environment while in our care—this action does not even come close to meeting that standard. As a result of this incident, the teacher involved no longer works for KinderCare.

We have reported this incident to DCS and state licensing and will fully cooperate with any investigation. We also plan to retrain our staff to ensure that nothing like this will happen again.

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