Four little boys suffered fractured legs while at daycare and police in Florida say one of their teachers caused the injuries. Police launched an investigation in May after four parents reported broken legs of their boys at the end of May. Two months later police arrested Christina Marie Curtis and charged her with four felony counts of child neglect resulting in great bodily harm.
On the morning of May 21, the parens of the boys dropped their sons off at Kids Discovery Learning Center in Valparaiso, Florida. According to the arrest report, all of the children were fine that morning.
When the parents picked up their children later that day, the four boys showed signs of distress and could not walk or stand. The children were medically evaluated and diagnosed with fractures to their legs. The boys ranged in age from 13 – 21 months old.
One of the mothers spoke anonymously to Panama City News Herald about her son’s condition. According to the mother, she enrolled her son into the daycare because she was in the late stages of pregnancy. She picked the daycare because they had no waitlist.
On the morning of May 21, she dropped her son off at the center. Due to her son having a rash, she requested that the center keep her son inside the facility throughout the day. However, she learned later that the workers took her son outside.
“When I picked him up he had dirt all in his hair,” she said. “I don’t know if they let him crawl around out there or what. It took the day care three days to give me any kind of explanation.”
The mother took him to the doctor, and he was diagnosed with a hairline fracture. According to the mother, the boy is recovering but still struggling with his balance.
Following the reports of the broken legs, police pulled the surveillance cameras from the daycare. In the footage, Christina Curtis was seen holding the hands of a toddler above his head while he walked. She abruptly moved her hands to his upper arms and flung him into a wagon feet first. She placed the other children in the cart and pulled them outside.
After the wagon ride, the teachers put the children down for a nap. When the child woke up, he could not stand or place any weight on his legs. Another worker was seen on camera telling Curtis to report the injuries to the front office multiple times.
According to the arrest report, one of the boys suffered multiple fractures while under the care of Christina Curtis. Medical examinations found multiple fractures in the child’s leg, and one appeared to be a few weeks old. The first break was estimated to have occurred around May 8, 2019, shortly after Curtis began working at the daycare.
The daycare told another victim’s family that he “fell over another child,” which led to his broken leg. When police interviewed Curtis, she denied knowing anything about the injuries. However, she noted that she witnessed children falling out of playground cars or other items.
Despite efforts by the media to speak to Kids Discovery Learning Center, the owner did not provide a comment.
With four children injured on the same day, there are many questions left unanswered. If Christina Curtis had only been working at the daycare for a few weeks, what kind of training did she receive? Did other workers monitor or supervise her during that time? How did the children get through an entire day with injuries without any parents receiving calls about their boys?
Police say they can’t determine if she intentionally caused the injuries to the boys. However, the fact that four boys suffered broken legs on the same day the idea this could have been accidental is suspect. Will the police hold the daycare center accountable for the actions of the worker?
For now, the children are recovering from there injuries. The police declined to comment about the investigation and the arrest.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
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