South Reno day care incident under investigation

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The video is a little blurry, but in it, you can clearly see a toddler sitting with a book. Then a day care worker walks over and yanks the boy up by his arm and pushes him out of the way.

"I lost my breath, my heart dropped, my stomach dropped," says Amanda Lee, who is the 2-year-old's mother. "I was shocked at what I was seeing. That kind of treatment was not deserved at all."

Lee was able to watch this all happen to her son Tuesday because of web cameras set up at Kids R Kids Learning Academy on Double Diamond Parkway in south Reno. Lee says she called the day care to report the worker and was told by the director that they would talk to the worker and look into getting her counseling the next day.

"At that point, I responded with 'counseling?' That's it? You're not going to let her go?" says Lee.

Lee then posted the video to Facebook. In less than 24 hours, it was shared more than 17,000 times. It has also triggered a lot of comments from parents who are outraged over what the video shows.

"Parents need to be aware," she says. "Unfortunately, incidents happen like this that don't get caught and that's my fear."

"I would be irate myself if I saw this happen to my great granddaughter, so I certainly understand the parents and how they feel about this," says Helen Jamison, owner of Kids R Kids Learning Academy.

Jamison says she was out of town when the incident took place. But she says the worker -- who had only been working there less than a month -- has been let go. And she says the day care does not tolerate this kind of treatment of children.

"We are a safe school. This is a one-time thing; it's not something we condone," says Jamison. "This employee no longer works for Kids R Kids. We would no longer have an employee that would do something like that and we are in the process of having some redirection with all staff members to make sure that this could not happen again.

But Lee says what she witnessed Tuesday was enough for her. She says her son will not be returning to the day care. She also contacted Washoe County Human Services to report the day care. The agency's director, Amber Howell, issued the following statement to KOLO 8 News Now:

“The Washoe County Human Services Agency was made aware of the incident at Kids R Kids Daycare late last night and staff immediately begun an investigation first thing this morning. As the licensing authority, we are looking into the incident, staffing ratios and have initiated a formal investigative process. Our agency is actively involved in this incident and in the middle of fact finding. We take incidents of this nature seriously and we are proactively involved in engaging with the facility.”