A woman was driving by a daycare in Eagan, Minnesota, when something unusual caught her eye outside the building. As she got a little closer, she couldn’t believe what she saw, and she quickly alerted police. When she heard what was happening inside, it made the whole situation worse.
Countless people must have driven by KinderCare Daycare that day, but they either didn’t notice or didn’t bother to stop, when they definitely should have. Thankfully, the unnamed witness stopped when she did, using just an ounce of observation, otherwise the outcome could have very likely ended in tragedy.
The concerned citizen said she saw a 4-year-old child standing alone outside the center that was supposed to be caring for her, wearing just a t-shirt, on a day when it was three degrees outside. Fearing for her well-being and not knowing how long she had been out there alone in the cold, the woman called police, who soon arrived and brought the girl inside to get answers about how and why she had been abandoned.
According to Fox 9, daycare employees told authorities that the girl had been screaming in class, so they removed her, forcing her to sit outside as punishment in the snow with a windchill that made it feel like -9. But despite the admission of the cruel and unusual punishment, those responsible for it at KinderCare may not receive any punishment of their own for it.
“Punishing a child by putting them outside in single digit temperatures is obviously not ok,” Officer Aaron Machtemes of the Eagan Police Department told the news station, before adding the caveat that there may not be any criminal charges. “It all depends on circumstances of how out of control the child was. Why the child was taken outside in the first place. How long the child was outside. All those factors would go into whether or not there is a criminal charge.”
It shouldn’t matter how out of control the child was, since sending her outside without appropriate clothing on is putting her directly in harm’s way. That’s also not mentioning the fact that the center is in a busy area, and she could have been taken by a stranger at any point.
Although investigators have yet to determine how long the child was freezing outside, she must have been found before too long, since she didn’t suffer any injuries from the extreme elements. Meanwhile, the girl’s parents are working with police and the school to learn more about how the facility disciplines the kids they are paid to take care of.