Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current, May 27, 2020, Page 4, Image 4

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Two day cares reopen following alleged abuse
Virginia Barreda
Salem Statesman Journal
Two of four child care facilities oper-
ated by a Keizer woman reopened
Thursday following a three-day closure
based on reports of alleged abuse and
Enchanted Child Care & Preschool fa-
cilities were closed May 15 after several
parents filed complaints alleging in-
stances of isolation, hair-pulling, and
"flicking" children in the mouth as forms
of punishment.
None of the allegations were made
about staff at the two facilities on Dietz
Road NE and Shangri La Avenue NE that
reopened Thursday.
Two other centers on Chemawa Ave-
nue in Keizer and Bartell Drive NW in
West Salem remain closed.
Owner Michelle Long and the Oregon
Department of Education reached a set-
tlement late Wednesday that allowed 75
children of frontline workers to return.
"We're withdrawing the revocation
orders for (two) facilities to operate as
emergency child care with conditions,"
said Melanie Mesaros, communications
director for the Oregon Department of
Education's Early Learning Division,
Office of Child Care.
The four day cares located in Salem
and Keizer were initially closed May 15,
leaving about 100 children of frontline
workers without care.
Long, 41, denies the allegations in the
two orders filed by the Oregon Depart-
ment of Education (ODE) and said she
was notified of the closures just before 5
p.m. May 15.
Long's Central Background Registry,
a background check database for child-
care providers, was suspended the
same day due to the alleged findings,
prompting the additional closures of the
facilities on Dietz and Shangri La.
“An individual is not eligible to pro-
vide Emergency Child Care if the indi-
vidual‘s enrollment in the Central Back-
ground Registry was denied, suspend-
ed, or removed, or the individual or enti-
ty’s child care facility license was
previously denied, suspended, or re-
voked," according to the ODE order.
Mesaros emphasized the depart-
ment of education has only revoked the
approval to provide emergency child-
care services, but once the state of
emergency is over, the facility can con-
tinue operating under a regular license.
The settlement allows the two facil-
ities to resume emergency child care op-
erations, with the condition that Long
will not set foot at either property any-
time children are present or "direct the
caregiving of children in any manner."
The order lists Shannon Sanchez as
the director and operator of the two re-
opened locations in the interim.
"We're so happy for our families,"
Long said. "That is the positive that's
coming out of today."
Enchanted Child Care & Preschool is
Salem/Keizer's largest state-certified
child care center, according to the
website. The family-owned day care
service has five locations and 45 em-
The abuse allegations against Long
and her staff were reported on ODE's
Child Care Safety Portal by multiple
people after the emergency child care
period began, though not on the same
day, Mesaros said. However, some of the
alleged incidents included in the com-
plaints date back to before the emergen-
cy care period.
No bathroom time, screaming
The following are some of the accu-
sations outlined in ODE's report at the
Enchanted Child Care & Preschool III lo-
The Enchanted Childcare & Preschool's license to provide emergency license is currently revoked in West Salem on May 20,
cation on Chemawa Avenue:
❚ At least two children wet them-
selves during nap time and another
child experiences pain because they
were not allowed to use the bathroom.
The children were required to stay on
their nap mats and not use the bath-
room for periods of two hours or more.
❚ A staff member reportedly grabbed
the arms of multiple pre-school and
school-aged children as a form of guid-
ance and discipline, and on multiple oc-
casions, dragged them from one place to
❚ The same staff member "flicked"
children in the mouth with her fingers as
a form of guidance and discipline.
❚ Long reportedly withheld after-
noon snacks as a punishment for chil-
dren who did not remain on their mats
and stay quiet during naptime.
❚ Children were isolated in separate
rooms on multiple occasions as a pun-
ishment during naptime.
❚ A staff member and Long have re-
portedly "screamed" at children. The
staff member makes "a mean face" and
Long kneels on the floor at eye-level
with children and grits her teeth in chil-
dren's faces.
❚ The same staff member has made
degrading comments to children who've
had toileting accidents such as "Ugh,
why are you like this?," "What is wrong
with you?" and "Are you kidding me?"
❚ Multiple parents noticed their in-
fants and toddlers with significant
amounts of dried mucous on their faces
and sometimes in their hair by the end
of the day.
❚ Alternative quiet activities were
not offered to children who did not fall
asleep during scheduled naptime and
were instead required to stay on their
nap mats.
The following are some of the accu-
sations outlined in ODE's report at the
Enchanted Child Care & Preschool West
Salem location on Bartell Drive NW:
❚ Staff observed a one-year-old re-
peatedly hitting his head against the
floor, causing a large bruise, a raised
Continued from Page 1A
An expiring four-year operations
levy, which was passed in May 2016,
taxed property at 71 cents per $1,000 of
assessed value of homes.
The district has sets of bonds that
were used to purchase and maintain
equipment that were approved in 2008
and are expected to be retired in 2022
and 2023.
If passed, the new levy would cover
that same equipment costs as well as
the new hires and potentially could save
property owners money in a few years.
Stayton city levy
An operations levy to fund Stayton’s
library, pool and local parks is failing by
a slim margin in Tuesday’s early re-
Stayton voters passed an operations
levy for Stayton Public Library, Stayton
Family Memorial Pool and local parks
six times since 1998.
The voters are being asked to pass an
increase in the tax rate to 70 cents per
$1,000 of assessed value on homes in
the city and extend the levy another five
City Hall is on Third Street in
downtown Stayton on Jan. 13, 2020. A
proposal for an overlay district,
intended to make the transition from
First Street to Third Street more user
friendly, was shot down by the Stayton
city council.
The assessed rate on homes in Stay-
ton currently is 60 cents per $1,000.
The increase in taxing rate would
fund deferred maintenance at the pool,
with 45% going to the library, 45% going
to the pool and 10% going to parks oper-
Stayton Fire District levy
bump, and a swollen eye. Staff did not
intervene, provide first aid or notify the
❚ A staff member pulled a one-year-
old child's hair as punishment for the
child pulling the staffer's hair.
❚ Long continued to allow a different
staff member to have unsupervised ac-
cess to the children after the staff mem-
ber smoked a vaporizer in the toddler
classroom while children were present.
Other allegations include restricting
parents' access to their children during
hours of operation, having an insuffi-
cient amount of paper towels at the fa-
cility, deviating from the planned menu
for snacks and meals displayed to par-
ents, and giving each child one dispos-
able cup to use throughout the day.
West Salem resident Jillian Barnhart
said her then-1-year-old daughter at-
tended the Bartell Drive NW facility be-
tween Aug 2019 and the end of February.
The family was on a waiting list for
another day care at the time.
"Things came to our attention little
by little...that just weren't sitting well
with us," Barnhart said. She said she al-
ways heard teachers in the toddler room
yelling at kids.
One day, Barnhart was notified that
her daughter would no longer be al-
lowed to have a morning snack.
"Apparently the owner decided she
didn't want her staff to give (my daugh-
ter) a snack...she didn't even call me to
talk to me about it," she said.
When Barnhart asked why, the aide
said Long, who made a visit to the loca-
tion, told staff to not provide the child a
Besides withholding a snack, Barn-
hart said her daughter never experi-
enced any of the other allegations that
were outlined in the order and did not
file a formal complaint.
Long said the accusations stemmed
from a Facebook Messenger group cre-
ated by a number of disgruntled em-
ployees and parents.
"These disgruntled employees that
are posting on social media, some were
Stayton Fire District’s operations
levy was failing in early returns.
The levy is intended to replace an ex-
piring bond measure and allow the de-
partment to hire an additional three
full-time firefighters with a slight in-
crease in cost to property tax owners.
The levy would replace a bond, which
was passed in 2015 and is set to be paid
off in June that was used to purchase
equipment like fire engines and made
significant repairs to the main fire sta-
tion including the fire sprinkler system.
The operational levy would tax
homeowners at 25 cents per $1,000 of
assessed property value and replace the
bond, which taxed residents at 24.5
cents per $1,000.
The district currently has five full-
time firefighters and they staff its sta-
tions from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday
through Friday.
The Stayton Rural Fire District covers
107 square miles of Marion and Linn
counties, including Stayton, Elkhorn,
Mehama and the Little North Fork rec-
reation area.
Hubbard Fire District levy
The Hubbard Fire District’s opera-
tions levy was passing by a 3-2 margin
in Tuesday’s early returns.
Hubbard Fire District is seeking to
with us for less than four months," Long
said. "Some employees have been with
me for five or six years. They've worked
for me for a long time because they love
what they do, they're proud of what they
Albany resident Kaitlin Green said
her two children have been enrolled in
the Enchanted Child Care & Preschool
program for close to five years. Her chil-
dren attend one of the two facilities that
are not involved in the allegations.
Green, a healthcare employee, said
the allegations were “shocking to hear
as a parent,” but her family never expe-
rienced any issues with the program.
Her children were back at the facili-
ties when operations resumed Thurs-
“I’ve never had any concerns, hon-
estly," Green said. “I always felt that my
children were well taken care of.”
Stay up-to-date with the latest
Oregon news:
Long said she plans to request a "sec-
ond-level review" with the office of child
care. She's also requested a hearing re-
garding the legitimacy of losing her
Central Background Registry and into
the allegations.
"The office of child care allows this to
happen because the don't have any re-
percussions for information that comes
in that's wrong and they continue to
perpetuate this."
To the parents, she said, "We're so
sorry for the stress and hardship that
this caused for them and we're working
as quickly as possible to get this situa-
tion corrected. We appreciate what
they're doing for the community and
we're doing our part to get this piece
dealt with."
Virginia Barreda is the breaking
news and public safety reporter for the
Statesman Journal. She can be reached
at 503-399-6657 or at vbarreda@states- Follow her on Twitter
at @vbarreda2.
pass its first operations levy, which
would allow it to staff the station 24
hours per day and provide funding for
required maintenance of equipment
and purchase personal protective
The district currently has 27 volun-
teers, but can’t join into mutual aid
agreements with neighboring fire dis-
tricts in Woodburn and Aurora due to
lack of permanent staffing.
The Hubbard Fire District has passed
several bonds, including an ongoing one
that taxes residents 27 cents per $1,000
that is set to expire in 2023.
Detroit amendment
Detroit’s amendment to the city
charter to allow three city councilors
who don’t live in the city year-round in-
stead of two is failing by a 2-1 margin.
Detroit was asking to amend the city
charter to require four city councilors to
have the city as their primary residenc-
es. instead of five. Currently, five of the
seven city councilors must live in the
city over six months each year in the va-
cation hotspot. If the measure passes,
four of the seven city councilors will be
required to live in the city over six
months out of the year. or