Lindsey Cavallaro, a daycare worker in Hamden Connecticut, recorded herself on a cell phone camera verbally harassing 3-year-old Michael Santana until he cried, reports WFSB.com.
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A teacher’s assistant at Sleeping Giant daycare, Cavallaro apparently has Michael sitting in a chair because he had “a moment,” though it is not shown. Excerpts from the exchange include:
“I don’t like you,” says Michael.
“Newsflash, sweetheart: I don’t really like you either, ’cause you throw toys,” Cavallero responds to the 3-year-old.
“I can knock your head off,” Michael replies, clearly becoming frustrated.
“Do it. C’mon. C’mon, boss, let’s go. You wanna scrap,” replies Cavallaro laughing.
Then she continues:
“Do it. Go ahead. No balls. Oh you’re a tough guy. Hey boss, show me your nine.”
Michael’s mother, Tyesha Reese, posted the troubling video on YouTube to raise awareness:
My name is Tyesha Reese and this is my three year old son Michael Santana who is being abused at Sleeping Giant Daycare in Hamden, Ct by his daycare teacher. This footage was being circulated around our town and got to my hands.It is a very disturbing and heartbreaking video to watch.I ask that you watch this video and help us spread awareness to other parents.My son has suffered and I don’t want any other child to go through what my child has been through.
See video clips below:
Cavallaro has been suspended pending an internal investigation and Sleeping Giant released the following statement:
“Our number one priority at all times is to provide quality and safe childcare for all of the children at Sleeping Giant Day Care.”
Reese says the video reached her only after a friend saw it and recognized her son. Now, she can’t help but to wonder how long he has been treated that way:
“He’s everything to me,” Reese said. “He doesn’t deserve it. No child deserves it and especially not mine.
“It hurt because he was defenseless,” the distraught mother continued to WTNH.com. “He was sitting in a chair and as a child he was trying to defend himself.”
Cavallaro has not issued a statement.
Though most people have shown outrage at Cavallaro’s actions, there have, surprisingly, been some supporters speaking out in her defense on YouTube. Wrote Darkwolf7854:
“I agree the teacher is terrible, but the child doesn’t seem to be any better. Maybe if the parents taught the kid at home not to throw around toys and have a little respect for someone who has responsibility over you then the teacher would have never said any of that stuff, because honestly [I] think everyone has been around a little kid and been like wow this kid is a real asshole but you keep that to yourself, the teacher vocal expressed it a little to extremely.”
Other statements voice similar sentiments that blamed the parents and not the worker.
One thing is for sure, it’s always easy to cast blame on the child when it’s not yours that’s being abused — verbally or physically.