ALBUQUERQUE ― American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement:
“Without question, the video evidence showing the abuse of a child by a former employee of the Eastern Child Development Center merits their immediate dismissal, arrest, and fullest prosecution under the law. However, it was only through the center staff’s self-reporting of the incident to the Children, Youth, and Families Department and the Albuquerque police department that lead to the firing and subsequent arrest of the individual in question.
“Center staff and Directors should be praised for immediately following CYFD protocol and making the safety of the children under their care their number one priority by reporting this incident. It is troubling, however, that CYFD took a full week to visit the center after the incident, and have subsequently closed the Center for an investigation.
“According to CYFD’s own policy, when an investigation takes place, it shall not exceed fifteen days, a deadline which is fast approaching. We call on the CYFD to complete their investigation in an efficient and expedient manner so that the 288 children enrolled at the center can return to their education, and the 32 educators employed at the site can return to work.
“Make no mistake, the evidence of abuse is repugnant, but with the arrest of the individual in question, we believe CYFD’s number one priority should be the return of the 288 children to their education, to put the 32 educators back to work, and to give peace of mind for all families involved.”