ASHEBORO, N.C. — Cellphone video captured a troubling situation inside of a local day care.
An employee was caught throwing a child onto a mat. That employee, Joy Branning, is now charged with misdemeanor child abuse.
A state investigator was at the Children’s Center of Asheboro all day Tuesday.
The facility does have a five-star license according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
In the video sent to FOX8 by an employee, crying can be heard in the background. The worker says a 4-year-old boy threw a tantrum and was being disruptive.
The video then shows Branning taking the child’s arm and pulling him into another area of the room.
That’s when she’s seen picking him up and forcefully dropping him onto a mat.
It’s something Debbie Lockhart, the director of the Children’s Center, can’t believe.
“I have a state lady here with me today, working with me on making sure we can do everything we can to ensure the safety of our children,” she said. “We are devastated by this. Joy was immediately fired and I’ve known her 20 years.”
Parents were immediately notified about the March 20 incident.
“We had that child for four years, since he was born,” Lockhart said. “We love him. I am so sorry that happened to him.”
Lockhart says there are protocols in place at the center to make sure teachers are trained and well equipped to handle any situation.
Breaks are even given to teachers in order to give them time to cool off in the midst of frustration.
“There are all the strategies you can put in place. But the bottom line is that the person has to follow it,” she said.
Lockhart feels they all failed that little boy.
“The other teacher should have intervened on the child’s behalf as soon as she saw when he was having his issues,” she said. “[He] was melting down and Joy was getting frustrated. She should have intervened on his behalf.”
FOX8 did speak to the child’s mom Tuesday afternoon. She said she did not feel comfortable speaking on camera because the incident is still under investigation. She does say the video speaks for itself.
FOX8 also tried speaking to Branning, but she did not answer her phone or the door at her Asheboro home.