Florida day care center fires teacher who wrote on toddler’s stomach with marker

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Florida day care teacher fired after writing on toddler’s stomach with marker

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Florida day care teacher was fired after writing a message on a 1-year-old child’s torso in marker, the center’s executive director said.

The child's mother, Heather Chisum, said the message, "Mom I'm out of diapers pls read my report," was scrawled on the toddler's stomach by a staffer from the Children's Education Center of the Islands in Sanibel, the Fort Myers News-Press reported.

"Am I right to be furious about this? Or am I overreacting?" Chisum wrote on Facebook, as she described her anger at seeing the message written on the skin of son, Milo. "I guess yesterday they wrote on his report that he needs diapers, and I failed to see that. Now keep in mind, I see several teachers at drop-off and several at pickup. If I failed to see that he needs diapers a simple, 'Hey Heather, your son needs diapers, maybe you missed the report,' would have done the trick."

Instead, Chisum got a startling surprise when she was changing his diaper Monday afternoon, according to the Facebook post.

“I’ve scrubbed it with several baby wipes and it’s not coming off,” she said.

Chisum, 23, said she has removed both of her children from the center, the News-Press reported.

“I’m so beyond frustrated,” told the newspaper. “I will no longer take them there.”

"We are aware of the incident at the school, and we are terribly sorry for the distress it has caused the family involved, as well as all of our families. It was a breach of our professional ethics on the part of the teacher," Cindy Carter DeCosta, executive director of the day care center, told the News-Press. "The school has taken immediate action to remove the teacher from the school. We are reviewing protocols already in place to ensure that nothing like this occurs again. We are proud of our school, love our students, and are eager to make our school a better place as we move forward."

A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Children and Families said the agency is investigating the incident, along with the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida.

"No way, no how is this appropriate," Susan Block, CEO of the coalition, told the News-Press.

Chisum said she will need to take off work to find a replacement center for her children, the newspaper reported.

“There’s no other place on the island for someone as young as he is,” Chisum said.

Chisum said she doesn’t understand why a followup message or a telephone call could not be substituted for the marker.

"Why a big long message needed to be written across my son's stomach is beyond me," Chisum wrote on Facebook.

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