One would think the safest time for a child to be in a daycare facility would be while authorities are paying a surprise visit. However, that wasn’t the case for one 6-month-old baby. Instead, a daycare worker stands accused of “willfully” breaking the infant’s leg, and what the investigation uncovered makes the facility look even worse.
Kimberly Sugg Boykin, a 51-year-old daycare worker of Middlesex in Nash County, North Carolina, has been charged with felony negligent child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury after police say she “willfully” fractured the leg of a 6-month-old infant who was in her care.
Boykin was working at Widewaters Learning Center in Knightdale when a mother became suspicious. She told police her infant child wasn’t acting normally after daycare. According to the Knightdale Police Department, the baby was taken for a medical evaluation, which revealed the 6-month-old had suffered a fractured femur, the bone in the thigh.
An investigation by the police, Child Protective Services, the Safe Child Advocacy Center, and the Wake County District Attorney’s Office led to Boykin’s arrest after authorities determined she “willfully twisted the left femur” of the infant, Inside Edition reported. Then, she failed to get the child any help, according to her arrest warrant. Despite having “several opportunities to do so,” she allegedly didn’t report the incident, meaning this child suffered for an undisclosed amount of time.
Making matters worse, the day the baby’s leg was broken coincided with the day the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education made an unannounced visit to the facility. According to WCNC, such “unannounced visits are made for annual inspections or in response to complaints.” It’s not clear which was the case for Widewaters’ unexpected visit by authorities, but what was uncovered was troublesome.
The North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education discovered that 3- and 4-year-old children at Widewaters “were placed in the bathroom to ‘think’ or to ‘have a seat’ and be spoken to,” according to the report from the visit. In addition, a staff member was heard threatening a child. “Do you want me to pop you out with a ruler,” the unnamed staff member allegedly told a child as they showed the child a ruler.
These violations were “confirmed corrected by a letter from provider,” according to the report, but that doesn’t change the fact that a worker has since been accused and arrested for twisting a baby’s leg until it broke — a much more serious accusation than the violations discovered during the surprise visit. Sadly, the woman who’s allegedly responsible was released. After being detained in the Wake County jail, Kimberly Sugg Boykin posted $50,000 bail.
“Widewaters Learning Center cares deeply about the safety of our children, and we are committed to maintaining the highest standards for our employees,” Widewaters director Jeniffer Cue said in an emailed statement to The News & Observer. “We are actively investigating this situation involving a former employee, and we will continue to cooperate with the relevant authorities.”
While Kimberly Sugg Boykin should we held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, authorities need to pay Widewaters another visit. Regardless of their statement, the facts don’t indicate that the center provides a safe environment for children. Instead, they are subjected to isolation in a bathroom, threatened with corporal punishment, and violently mistreated, resulting in serious injury.
Breaking an infant’s femur is no easy feat. Not only is it the largest bone in the body, but it’s also considered the strongest, and such fractures, often called spiral fractures, are serious injuries that carry the risk of complications. “When long bones are broken on an angle, they often separate into two parts that do not align and have rough, uneven edges. This fracture can make it difficult to put the bone back together,” Medical News Today explains. Spiral fractures can also be extremely painful, sometimes causing the injured person to faint or lose consciousness.
Logic indicates that the infant would have wailed out in protest as he or she was abused in such a gruesome fashion. Yet, no one at the facility took notice? And, no one noticed the child was in pain after the incident? Kimberly Sugg Boykin applied such force to the baby’s leg that she broke it. There’s no doubt the infant cried and screamed in pain. Such an act against an innocent infant takes a certain kind of depravity, and someone capable of it doesn’t deserve to be free amongst the rest of society — and a daycare, where something like this was allowed to happen, should be shut down.