MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police and the Department of Children’s Services confirm they are investigating a child abuse allegation linked to the Bright Ideas Enrichment Center in northeast Memphis.
Roytrell Brown and Shelbie Tubbs say Brown was picking up their 2-year-old son, Logan, last Friday, when he saw a teacher manhandling their toddler.
“She doesn’t know I’m there at all. I’m standing at the window watching, her back is turned… She grabs him by both of his arms and slams him down,” Brown said. “I’m still standing there watching in shock like, ‘I know I just didn’t see that.’”
Brown says the teacher immediately claimed his son had fallen earlier that day and hit his head, but the parents were never notified.
“Nobody called me,” Tubbs said. “We normally get calls when he bumps, falls, whatever… But I wasn’t informed that he bumped his head.”
Brown says when he went into another room to get his 11-month-old daughter, the daycare’s director, Bonnie Queen, tried to kick him off the property.
“She gets in my face, puts her hands in my face and tells me to leave,” he said.
The couple says they have tried to resolve things with Queen, but she refuses to acknowledge what they say happened or apologize, and even called police on them.
The daycare’s corporate office admits there are no surveillance cameras in the classrooms.
Queen wouldn’t talk to WREG on Friday morning, but the company’s corporate office later sent a statement denying the allegations, and blaming Brown for the bump on his son’s head.
The statement says, in part:
“The teacher saw [the] child jumping on his cot when he fell and bumped the right side of his forehead on a shelf in the room. The teacher immediately went to the child’s aid, picked him up and put him on another cot, on his back. Almost immediately after, the father arrived to pick up his children… As the father was leaving, he had both children under his arm and hit the child’s head on the door way as he was exiting the building.”
It went on to say a DHS state program inspector found no violations at the center later that day, and that staff followed all company, center and state policies and procedures.
The statement also says Tubbs and Brown showed up again Monday, cussing and threatening workers.
Brown says the daycare’s version of events isn’t true, and he wants to see the teacher prosecuted.
“That really hurt me to see somebody do something to my child, and I can’t do anything about it,” he said. “That makes me feel like I failed as a father to my son, that I allowed somebody to put their hands on him and I did nothing about it. I can’t let that slide.”
The couple pulled both of their children from Bright Ideas and enrolled them into a new daycare.
The daycare’s corporate office, which acquired the company in September, said it plans to install cameras in the classrooms, but didn’t say when.