Over the course of the last 12 months, two Muskogee children have been injured in incidents at Muskogee daycare centers. At The Champions Day Care, a six-year-old suffered facial injuries and head fractures in an incident where the daycare blamed another child but DHS found the daycare deficient — and then withdrew that finding after it became clear the agency would not longer be able to send children there. At Oak Tree Academy, a 13-month-old child was abused by a worker on camera.
Attorneys for the families involved in those cases issued a joint statement late yesterday praising State Rep. Avery Frix of Muskogee, who has asked DHS to require cameras at all daycare centers.
“On behalf of Julie Robinson and Hannah Long, whose babies were unimaginably injured while they were in the complete care of two different Muskogee daycares, I would like to thank Representative Frix for listening to his constituents and taking this important first step,” said attorney Rusty Smith, who represents the family from Oak Tree. “In 2019, cameras are everywhere. The utility and usefulness of a thorough, comprehensive law requiring cameras in every daycare cannot be overstated or rationally opposed. It just makes sense, especially considering the fact that so many of us entrust our babies and toddlers to these facilities for daily care.”
Frix said requiring DHS-licensed daycares to have cameras would benefit families, children and daycare workers, because video evidence does not need to rely on people’s memories.
“If all daycares would be required by law to have working cameras in them at all times, it just creates objectivity,” attorney Steve Money, who represents the family from the Champion Daycare incident with Smith, said. “Whether there’s a questionable situation arise or not, it seems to me that such a law would benefit not only the children and their families, but also serve as a guidepost for the facilities themselves. I applaud Representative Frix for responding to the concerned citizens of his district.”