JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Parents at a day care center in Jersey City were furious Wednesday night, after learning a teacher’s aide was charged with hitting and throwing toddlers.
As CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported, parents filing into the Sunnyside Academy day care center in the Point Liberte section of Jersey City were angry and filled with questions.
“What the heck are you guys going to do to instill confidence in us that you’re not going to hire somebody else who’s going to do this again?” parent Mike McGivney said.
“It’s shocking,“ added parent Yasine Alexander. “I just don’t believe it.”
Arrested was teacher’s aide Ann Bactawar, 26. She was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, as well as child abuse, after police said a surveillance camera inside caught her grabbing, throwing and slapping one child, and hitting another.
“Ms. Bactawar struck my child on the hand forcefully, and another employee was in the room, but had her back to the incident and never turned around to see what the alarm was,” parent Nathan Lugo said.
Parents, many of whom pay hundreds of dollars a month to the day care, packed into the meeting with administrators. But they ended up dismissing the meeting as useless.
They said they heard apologies, but no real explanation – except that Bectawar is related to the assistant director, who apparently overlooked her previous criminal record for assault.
“Basically, she just apologized over and over, and she said she hired her because she was young and had energy,” said parent Sofia Avalos.
Still, some parents expressed support for the day care.
“My son, who’s been going here for three and a half years, loves it here,” one parent said.
Others said they had no choice but to take their children’s belongings and go, and not come back.
“I just informed them that I will no longer be bringing my child here,” another parent said.
The meeting ended with a promise from day care officials that they would work to rebuild the trust of their remaining parents — the ones who haven’t pulled their children out.
Bactawar was behind bars in Hudson County on $100,000 bail Wednesday night.
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