Youth Services Law

Day Care Worker Bites Child

A day care worker in Texas was arrested after admitting to biting a child to teach him, she said, not to bite other children. Naturally, the parents are "seeking legal representation." 

An earlier report of the incident includes a statement from the day care director. Most lawyers advise their clients not to talk to the media, because statements you make can be used against you if the matter ends up in court. The catch is that it always hurts the center's reputation when the only words a reporter can quote are "No comment."

I recommend that youth-serving organizations respond to media inquiries with four statements: (1) always, always, always express concern for the child, who is, after all, your primary responsibility; (2) identify any steps you have taken that can be made public (i.e., suspended the worker pending investigation); (3) always make clear that you are cooperating with authorities; and (4) explain that you cannot comment further about an ongoing investigation.

Resist the temptation to explain everything you know to a reporter.  Too much explanation will come back to haunt you.  You do need to establish your concern for the children in your program, but any more details need to wait until you have all of the facts.

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