Parents are now urgently seeking alternative childcare options, wanting to distance their children from the Kids Discovery Learning Center in Valparaiso, Florida. The daycare center has come under intense scrutiny for failing to protect the children in their care. This follows accusations that 25-year-old daycare worker Christina Marie Curtis broke the legs of four toddlers in a single day, which has alarmed authorities and led them to suspect abuse at the center.
Authorities grew increasingly concerned and alarmed when they learned that four children had suffered the same injury on the same day at the daycare center. Their investigation led them to Curtis, who has since been arrested and charged with child neglect for her actions on May 21, 2019.
The police report reveals that Curtis showed no compassion or concern for the injured children. She allegedly subjected the vulnerable toddlers to violent and aggressive treatment, including throwing one child into a wagon and yanking another through the air.
Curtis, a resident of Fort Walton Beach, was not immediately arrested and detained after the children’s injuries came to light. Instead, Florida authorities spent time gathering the necessary evidence to ensure a solid case against her. However, during this period, Curtis could have continued to pose a risk to other children – particularly given her ability to cause such severe harm to four infants in a single day.
Eventually, Florida authorities amassed enough evidence to charge Curtis with four counts of felony child neglect. She has since been barred from working in schools or childcare facilities. While this may be a small comfort to the victims of Curtis’ abuse at the Kids Discovery Learning Center in Valparaiso, they are still seeking justice for their traumatic experiences.
The children in Curtis’ care ranged from 13 to 21 months old – fragile, young lives in desperate need of nurturing and support rather than violence and aggression. The injured children were left untreated for hours, and it was only when their parents returned to collect them that they noticed something was wrong. The toddlers were unable to stand or walk properly, and a subsequent medical examination confirmed that their legs had been broken while under Curtis’ supervision.
Curtis not only acted in a way that endangered the lives of these young children, but she also deliberately disregarded the specific instructions given by their parents. Terika Graham, for example, had requested that Curtis not allow her daughter to play outside that day due to a rash. When she returned to pick her child up later, she discovered her baby covered in dirt and with a broken leg.
Terika Graham told the News-Herald, “When I picked him up, he had dirt all in his hair. I don’t know if they let him crawl around out there or what. It took the daycare three days to give me any kind of explanation.”
Graham’s child suffered a hairline fracture during Curtis’ day of abuse but is now recovering. After posting her $4,000 bond, Curtis is currently free and awaiting her day in court.
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