- A 4-year-old boy was forced to swallow hot sauce as punishment at a daycare center
- The outraged mother reported the incident to the police
- Teacher who imposed the punishment says that it is a common practice in her culture
While some daycare centers punish their students by giving them a five-minute timeout, Friendship Pediatric Services had another thing in mind.
Melaina Whitley was shocked when her 4-year old son, Tanner, threw up when he came home from the daycare center. Whitley said that her son later confessed that the daycare had given him hot sauce to swallow as a form of punishment. He was punished for hitting a friend earlier in the daycare.
Friendship Pediatric Services is a daycare center for kids with special needs. Tanner had been attending the center for speech therapy.
"When he said hot sauce, I thought maybe pop tarts, and I was like, 'Hot sauce?' Because I didn't know he knew the word hot sauce, so I know she had to have told him, 'I'm giving you hot sauce'," Whitley said, startled.
Disgusted about the situation, she later complained that these professionals should have known better because she had entrusted her child with them.
"You just don't expect that. They're supposed to be qualified to work with special needs children and they're supposed know to not give hot sauce,” she remarked.
According to Channel 7 News, Whitley reported the incident to the police after confronting her son’s teacher at the daycare center. Whitley is firm on her belief that her son’s ingestion of hot sauce was not consensual. She believed that the teacher had forced her son to swallow the sauce.
In the official Bryant Police Report, Friendship Pediatric Services director Karla Curry said that it was not a big deal to be given hot sauce for punishment. She confessed that it was a common practice in her culture. However, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not agree with her statement as they only considered timeout as the most acceptable form of punishment.
The DHS also has not confirmed that it was a form of maltreatment, but is holding a current investigation on the matter.
Whitley strongly urged that the daycare should at least fire Curry for damages against her son.
While Friendship Pediatric Services still has not revealed if the teacher is still under their payroll, they did release a statement saying that they are cooperating with the DHS investigation. -TU, Kami Media