Thursday, 05 May 2011 19:51 Last Updated on Thursday, 05 May 2011 19:52
Several disturbing videos of an unlicensed in home daycare provider appeared recently on the popular video posting website youtube.com earlier this week. The videos, posted by username wikedwanda10, show two ladies, running childcare service in the common area of a Denmark apartment building.
In the videos, the women appear to strike some of the children, yell at them, and in one video an infant is left alone in the room, a community area in the secured apartment building, for several minutes.
According to Denmark Police Chief Ron Towns, the matter was originally reported earlier this year. Officer Scot Knutson was assigned to the investigation, and the matter was referred to Manitowoc County Social Services for evaluation because that is where the children reside. MCSS and the Denmark police followed the matter for some time as new videos were obtained and turned over.
Towns says that MCSS made the determination that the actions of the two ladies, while inappropriate, do not rise to the level of criminal activity. “None of the children were injured, and all but one of the parents of the children involved declined to press charges,” said Towns.
Towns said the matter was also referred to the Wisconsin Department of Children & Families, which licenses daycare providers. WDCF ordered the women to discontinue their service, and it appears the pair have complied. Under Wisconsin law, no person may provide care and supervision for four or more children under the age of seven for less than twenty-four hours a day unless that person obtains a license to operate a child care center from WDCF.
Towns says several of the parents responded to the videos nonchalantly, but at least one of the parents was upset that charges were not being filed. That, presumably, is what led to the posting of the videos.
Unfortunately, that particular step may prolong the issue. Posting pictures of children on the internet or publishing in print without parental permission is actionable under civil law, meaning parents could sue the poster. Whether that happens remains to be seen.
“None of the children were injured, and the women are no longer running a daycare service,” said Police Chief Towns, “[We] hope that this is the end of it. I’d like to see the videos taken down, because we’ve taken the case as far as we can, and unless something changes there will not be any criminal charges filed.”