TWO children at the St Dominic’s Children’s Home were beaten on Monday evening by a part-time caregiver who became upset that the children wore the wrong pants and sneakers.
Officials said the children, eight and nine, were beaten with a leather belt after the relief staff member learned one of them had worn a pair of pants that was not set out for him to wear. The other was beaten for wearing the wrong sneakers to school that day.
The children complained to a senior staff member on Tuesday. The staff member intends to alert the Children’s Authority on Wednesday.
Corporal punishment was outlawed in 2012 except when administered by a child's parents or guardians of a child. Corporal punishment is considered part of “reasonable punishment” that only a parent/guardian can administer. The staff member is not considered the child’s guardian, Newsday was told by senior staff.
In addition, police searched the home looking for marijuana on Tuesday after they received information that there were “substances” on the compound. Up to 5.30 pm, nothing illegal was found.
The beating is one of two recent incidents engaging the attention of senior staff members at the two children's homes.
Last Thursday a staff member at St Jude’s Home for Girls was assaulted when she refused to let a resident out.
The beating was the third since December 31.
The victim shielded herself with her right arm while being beaten. She was given a week's sick leave and is unable to use her hand to write. The attacker, officials said, returned to the home on Wednesday after spending some time at the Youth Transformation and Rehabilitation Centre (YTRC) Arouca.
On December 31, a staff member was beaten on the head with a fan and had a bottle of lotion poured on her head. She was also hit in the face with a bottle of petroleum jelly. She was given four days' sick leave and returned to work complaining of headaches.
The caregivers said the girls became irate after they were denied leave to view fireworks on New Year's Eve.
The second victim was hit on the head with a toilet tank cover on January 8. The woman was praying, a report said, when she was hit twice in the head. While two girls were attending to her, four others took her keys and escaped from the home by jumping over a perimeter wall. Two were found that day and the other two remain on the run. One of the girls who escaped had only been brought to St Jude’s earlier that very day.
All three attacks happened at night. The victims were working alone at the time caring for some 15-20 girls who had varying reasons for being at the home and varying criminal cases pending.
The attacks are all being investigated by Belmont police.