Parents of a day care are upset after workers took photos of children and uploaded them to Instagram, which caused them to be fired the next day. The workers also made fun of a 2-year-old with a delayed speech development.
“He is thinking cuz sure can’t talk,” one of the managers from Heavenly Haven Learning Center 2 wrote on Instagram with a photo showing the child sitting in a high chair and looking dejected.
Melissa Jordan says the photo shows her son, Ethan.
Speaking Tuesday to CNN’s “New Day,” she had a message for the day care workers: “If you don’t genuinely love and care for children, and if it’s not a passion of yours, this isn’t something that you should be involved in. If you think it’s funny that a child is delayed or if they’re not perfect or they have shortcomings, if that’s a joke to you or something that you think you should tease about, that’s not a job for you.”
“That’s how bullying starts. That’s how children become bullies” and insecure, she added.
The photo was posted by @mz_oneofakind — later identified as Jena Ferrel, who worked at the center, WAVY reported. Ferrel would not speak to the station on camera.
“I’m sick of this s***!!!” she wrote in a caption.
Ethan wasn’t the only child publicized.
The user @mz_oneofakind, whose account has been taken down, also posted a photo of a boy whose protruding front teeth she compared to those of Mater from the movie “Cars.”
The Virginia Department of Social Services is investigating the incident.
Asked how she would feel if the workers involved said it was a misunderstanding and that they were just trying to be funny, Jordan told CNN, “maybe I would be a little bit more understanding, like OK, it was an inappropriate joke.” There’s no excuse, “but at least I can understand a human error,” she said. “But that hasn’t even happened.”
“At my house we don’t make fun of each other for our shortcomings, things that are out of our control,” she said. “Things that we need extra help with, we don’t tease each other about.”