Pearl mother outraged after daycare worker is charged with assaulting her 3-year-old child

Published: May. 3, 2023 at 10:49 PM CDT
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PEARL, Miss. (WLBT) - Injuring and assaulting a 3-year-old, that’s what one Pearl daycare worker is now being accused of doing this week.

On Tuesday, the Pearl Police Department arrested 61-year-old Reneatha Gibbs from A Fresh Start and Time to Learn Childcare Center.

Jessica Willis said her daughter, 3-year-old Madison, came home with bruises on her backside after leaving the daycare on April 25.

Willis alleges Gibbs is the one who put the bruises on her daughter after hitting her.

“Bruises to where at night she wakes up, ‘no Ms. Gibbs, No Ms. Gibbs,’ or, ‘no she can’t even sleep in her own bed because of this,’” said Willis. “She wakes up crying in the middle night. I’m asking her what’s wrong, why are you crying, (Madison says) no, no, no school, no school, that’s not fair to her, that’s not fair to her.”

After seeing the bruises and after getting word from other parents whose kids also accuse Gibbs of whipping Madison, Willis filed a complaint with the Pearl Police Department.

She said her daughter is not only bruised, but she’s also traumatized from this incident.

Now, she wants Gibbs to be held accountable.

“It has to stop, especially when a child cannot speak for themselves clearly,” said Willis. “It’s not fair to them, it’s not fair to them, and it’s not fair to Madison. That is my only baby.”

WLBT went by the daycare to speak with the owners. They call the accusations unfortunate.

”We have followed all regulatory procedures set forth by our licensing agency to launch an internal investigation,” said Kenneth Johnson, owner of the daycare. “Daycare centers are always in a vulnerable position when it comes to allegations such as this with knowing exactly what occurred and what did not especially when additional evidence comes up later that was not initially reported. We pray that the wheels of justice will prevail in the courtroom as they should when individuals are placed under oath instead of being played out by the public on social media. Finally, we appreciate the overwhelming support of our parents of children enrolled and former parents of children enrolled whom we have spent tireless hours caring for your children with all the love we had and have to give.”

Gibbs was given a $10,000 bond. She’s set to make her initial court appearance inside a Pearl Municipal Courtroom on Thursday.

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