MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former childcare worker at Peek-A-Boo Playschool in Senatobia, Mississippi, says the owner physically and verbally abused kids, and she’s glad she was arrested.
Amye Durham was charged with two counts of simple assault Thursday, a day after a complaint was filed with the Mississippi Department of Health Child Care Licensure Bureau. The Senatobia Police Department said it involved two separate children at the daycare.
A young woman who worked at Peek-A-Boo Playschool from June to September said she saw Durham yell and swear at the children and violently grab them by the arms.
“There were multiple times if the one and 2-year-olds would not stop screaming or crying, she would come in there yell at them and yank them up by the arm if they were kicking,” said the former daycare worker who did not want to be identified.
She said Durham also allowed kids to beat up other children and said there was video proof of the fighting from just a couple of days ago.
“I quit because I got tired of how Amye treated the children and the employees. It wasn’t worth the $8 an hour she paid me.”
Durham was booked in the Tate County Jail on a $1,000 bond. A woman who answered the phone at Peek-A-Boo Playschool Friday said the State of Mississippi had taken over the facility, and Durham had been banned from the property.
The woman who didn’t want to give her name said Durham had owned the daycare for 12 years.
State investigators and Senatobia Police said they are still investigating and they are asking for the public’s help.
In 2017, the daycare was investigated by the state after a four-year-old boy was left in a park during a daycare outing. Other complaints were also made by parents and employees about children being injured, but it’s not clear if the state ever took any action.
“I have reported to state a couple of times while I worked there, and Amye threatened to fire whoever it was, but she never found out who it was, and she never got into trouble,” said the former employee.
She said Durham should never be allowed to have kids in her care again.
“If I could, I would take over the daycare and love on those kids. That’s all that they need. They don’t deserve to be abused.”
Anyone with information about previous incidents at Peek-A-Boo Playschool is urged to contact Detective Brandon Rushing with the Senatobia Police Department.