Two former employees at an Ohio daycare centre are facing charges after being accused of mistreating a young child in their care.
Teacher James Ciolino was taking care of 10 children in his class in June this year, when a four-year-old girl left the room with another class, reports Local 12. The teacher of the other class, Jennifer Miller, noticed and called for Mr Ciolino to come and get her, then opened the door and pushed the girl back into the room.
Caught on camera: A day care employee shoves a little girl to the ground and sits there while she cries. He and another employee are now facing charges.@JennaCisnerosTV spoke to the little girl's mother and the day care director about the incident: https://t.co/K8mZmUP8zn— Local 12/WKRC-TV (@Local12) September 21, 2021
Video footage from the daycare’s surveillance cameras appears to show Mr Ciolino, who is reportedly 6 feet tall and around 315 pounds, putting his hand on the girl’s chest and shoving her hard enough to knock her down.
The girl could be heard crying in the video, as Ms Miller, who had watched the incident, walked off, closing the door behind her. The child continued sobbing on the ground for about a minute as Mr Ciolino ignored her, before he hoisted her up and carried her to the front office. He did not appear to stop to check for injuries.
The director of Wilde Kingdom Early Learning Center, Lisa McMillion, filed charges against the pair. She said she recognised immediately that something was wrong and pulled the surveillance video. Seeing the footage, she promptly fired the two teachers and reported the incident to police as well as breaking the news to the little girl’s family.
“The video itself has all the truth it needs in it. So as soon as you watch that or as soon as you see that, you know immediately what has to be done,” Ms McMillion said. “You just know something is not right with that cry. As a mom, you know when something is not right. And as a director, I know all of those children and I know how they cry.”
The girl’s mother, Ernestine Pumah told Local 12 that she was heartbroken. “I was like, ‘What the hell is this?’ I cried. I couldn’t hold it. I was so heartbroken. The guy just pushed her away like an animal,” Ms Pumah said.
She continued: “A little baby who knows nothing, who all she knows in life is to play, eat and sleep. You push her down on her chest and she’s lying down crying, and you are still doing what you were doing? What a heartless man.”
Police charged Mr Ciolino with assault and child endangerment and Ms Miller with child endangerment. Both have pleaded not guilty and are due to face trial December 3.