Lawsuit alleges abuse at childcare facility in Daphne
Big Blue Marble Academy says claims are unfounded and have been dismissed
DAPHNE, Ala. (WALA) - Sixteen parents have sued a Daphne daycare for what they’re calling child abuse against their children.
According to the lawsuit filed in Baldwin County, Thursday, the plaintiffs claimed their children were subjected to corporal or physical punishment including shaking, pushing, and pinching at Big Blue Marble Academy.
The lawsuit also claimed children were verbally abused. It alleges that employees withheld food from children. The lawsuit also claimed employees locked children in rooms, including the bathroom, all day, unattended as punishment.
Daphne Police told FOX10 News, they did respond to three complaints at the Big Blue Marble Academy in Daphne, but no charges were filed.
In April, Daphne Police said there were allegations that one employee grabbed a child and yelled at them. Daphne police said the employee was fired and the case was referred to DHR, but the parent did not follow up with charges.
According to its website, Big Blue Marble Academy has more than 60 childcare facilities all across the southeast.
FOX10 News reached out to Big Blue Marble Academy’s corporate headquarters. They said:
“Big Blue Marble Academy’s number one priority is to provide a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We take matters like this very seriously and have cooperated with the proper authorities and parties to review the allegations thoroughly. State Licensing has concluded its investigation into each of the claims, which were ultimately dismissed as unfounded. Additionally, Big Blue Marble Academy in Daphne has had a series of satisfactory licensing visits and is not currently under investigation for any licensing violations. Safeguarding the well-being of the children and families entrusted to our care is not just a responsibility but a fundamental value we uphold. We are committed to the safety and well-being of the children and families we serve and stand firm in maintaining the highest standards of accountability and protection.”
Mallory J. Mangold, attorney with Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, PC in Mobile who is representing the parents in this suit said:
“Big Blue Marble Academy markets itself as “THE preeminent early childhood education center in North America.” This is a national corporation that has made profit and growth of its business its top priority. Unfortunately, this has come at the expense of innocent children and their parents. Our clients relied on promises of the highest quality safety and education, which Big Blue Marble Academy claims sets it apart from and above any other childcare facility in the country. Our clients entrusted their children to Big Blue Marble Academy’s care and never could have imagined the horror they and their children would face. We understand the seriousness of our allegations, and we look forward to proving our case in a court of law. The parents and the children of our community, and across the country, deserve better, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that happens.”
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