UPDATE (12:40 p.m. on Friday, June 25): According to court documents, Jacklyn Williams, the employee alleged to have abused two children at Cross Lanes Child Care, has been charged with battery in the Magistrate Court of Kanawha County.
Williams will appear in court to face this charge on July 14, 2021.
In the criminal complaint, the deputy describes an incident similar to the playground incident with “G.B.” below.
CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—Two families have filed complaints in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County against Cross Lanes Child Care and Learning Center alleging the abuse of minor children at the hands of an employee of the daycare.
In the suits, which were filed on Wednesday afternoon, plaintiffs describe both physical and verbal abuse by Jacklyn Williams.
In one complaint, the parents of a 2-year-old child (we’ll refer to them as “H.M.”) say that a former employee of Cross Lanes Child Care and Learning Center recorded audio from inside the classroom in which Jacklyn Williams could be heard screaming at infant children. She allegedly used another child’s hand to pull H.M.’s hair during this incident and is said to have smacked H.M. on another separate occasion.
The complaint goes on to say that several audio recordings of Williams’ behavior exist and that in one of them, she can be heard during snack time saying, “You told me no, so you get snack last.” and “I don’t like when kids tell me no.” and “You’re last! You have to wait!” all while an infant can be heard crying.
The same coworker who recorded these audio recordings also allegedly witnessed physical abuse by Williams, including dragging H.M. down the hallway by her wrists and grabbing H.M. by her arms and pulling her down to the floor. This coworker reported the incidents to the director of the daycare, Amy Williams who failed to investigate or intervene.
In the other complaint, the parents of another 2-year-old child (we’ll refer to them as “G.B.”) say that Jacklyn Williams physically and verbally abused the child. They allege that during one incident on the playground, Williams pushed G.B. to the ground and “forcefully grabbed his face and neck and screamed in the infant’s face.” This incident was video recorded by another former employee.
When Amy Williams found out that video footage of the playground incident, she allegedly told the employee who had made the recordings “Don’t you know we will all be fired over this?” and “We won’t be able to work with the elderly or children ever again.” and “Jackie (Williams) could face jail time and lose her baby.”
Amy Williams also allegedly called a staff meeting and threatened to terminate anyone who did not delete the video footage of the abuse. She is also alleged to have threatened to report all of the workers to Child Protective Services if they didn’t delete the footage.
As a result of these recordings, the daycare adopted a “no cell phone” policy, which required employees to leave their phones in Williams’ office. The daycare is said to have also started locking the top portions of classroom doors so parents or workers could no longer see into the rooms.
Abuse is said to have been reported to Amy Williams approximately 40 times by one employee alone, and Williams would say, “I’ll take care of it” and then do nothing.
The same coworker who made the audio recordings of the first child’s alleged abuse ended up anonymously reporting G.B.’s abuse to the DHHR.
The lawsuits claim that the daycare failed to properly screen, train, and supervise both Jacklyn Williams and Amy Williams. They claim that the daycare as well as its employees owed a duty of care to these children, and their failure to live up to this duty was equivalent to neglect. Both suits will seek damage for “permanent psychological injuries,” and both plaintiffs are demanding jury trials.