The mother of 10-month-old Marcia who died when a seven-year old girl in daycare threw her to the ground several times in the 20-23 minute absence of any caregiver, protested a lack of criminal charges against the daycare center by walking in front of the courthouse carrying a poster of Marcia as she lay dying in her hospital bed.
I won’t post it here because it is gut-wrenching. Her entire face is black and blue. She has a tube in her mouth. She was ten-months-old.
If I’m being honest, when I first read about this story, and I read the caregiver’s first account which was that she left for “a minute” to go upstairs to change a diaper, well, I figured it was a tragic set of circumstances that led to the baby’s death. I wasn’t sure if charges needed to be filed. Certainly you don’t go charging a seven-year-old with homicide and is it really child endangerment to leave some kids alone for a minute? Nah.
Now we find out the caregiver left for over 20 minutes, leaving a ten-month-old alone with other children. And one of those children absolutely physically destroyed Marcia.
It might seem a bit heavy-handed to walk the streets with a poster of your bloodied, bruised and dying baby, but if you walked into a hospital room after being called away from work and after being told that your child was injured at daycare, and you found that poor thing lying in the bed, her eyes swollen and black, her entire forehead one big bruise, barely clinging to a fleeting life, and then after burying your baby you learned that charges wouldn’t be filed, not even a child endangerment charge, well, I PittGirl pretty much won’t blink an eye if you decide to take an Uzi to the courthouse, so protesting with a poster of your baby is pretty tame if you ask me.
“There’s no evidence which would indicate the caregiver knew that leaving the child with a 7-year-old would result in injury or death,” Zappala said. “By her account, she was gone 20 to 23 minutes. Some people have a problem with that. But it depends on why she was away from the children.
“This is a commercial setting, the 20-year-old was certified, she didn’t leave to go to a bar. Factually, this is entirely different between what happened in Larimer and what happened here.”
Um. No it ain’t.
- Did the mothers from the Larimer fire know that by leaving, their children would die? No.
- Was it wrong of them to leave the children alone unsupervised for so long a time? Absolutely.
- Did the mothers deserve to be punished? For. Sure.
Coincidentally, a foster mother was recently charged with child endangerment after her young foster child wandered away from a picnic and drowned in a neighbor’s pool.
- Did the foster mother know that by not keeping an eye on the child that the child would die? No.
- Was it wrong of her to turn away from the child for so long a time? No doubt.
- Did the foster mother deserve to be punished? Certainly!
Taking that into account, let’s look at Marcia’s case:
- Did the caregiver know that by leaving the children alone for 23 minutes that Marcia would die? No.
- Was it wrong of a paid caregiver to leave the children unsupervised for as long a time as it could take a parent to leave her children unsupervised while she quickly ran to the store or the bar down the street? Absolutely.
- Does the daycare center/caregiver deserve to be punished?
For Marcia, I think so.