In the past week, Juley Cetoute and Talia Salter have come forward about La Petite Academy in Georgia. The mothers said their toddlers now have bald spots after their braids were ripped out of their scalps while in childcare.
Salter said she found her young daughter Nola in pain when she picked her up from La Petite in February.
Salter told WSB, “They pulled me into the office and told me, ‘Hey, Nola had an accident today and it involved her hair being pulled and it’s a small spot in her head.”
However, Nola's mother said more than a "small spot" was missing from her daughter's scalp. The daycare facility allegedly told Salter that her daughter got stuck on a hook in the classroom.
Salter said she didn't understand how a large hook could've gone under Nola's braided ponytail and "snatched her hair completely out."
“I asked them if they were able to give me the owner’s phone number, so we could see some type of video footage. I asked them if they had the braid, they said they threw it away," Saltar said. "The spot was very clean, so I was worried, that it probably been shaved.”
In March, a second, similar incident allegedly occurred to Cetoute's one-year-old son. According to WSB, pictures show a large bald spot on the child's hair where braids used to be.
Cetoute said, “One minute the school teachers said that he did it to himself, but when I asked for the incident report, the incident report states they don’t know what happened."
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is investigating the most recent hair-pulling incident at La Petite.
Cetoute told WSB, “Parents need to know what’s happening. If something happens to a child specifically at a location, it’s their right to know what happened. I want this La Petite to be held accountable.” The mother continued, “I definitely have hope this time there will be more transparency with what’s happening."
La Petite Academy said in a statement, “We have reviewed the matter fully. It is clear that we properly followed our procedures with respect to this family and child, and there is no indication of any incidents or interactions with any of our staff that might have caused harm to the child."
The facility added, "For privacy concerns, we will not comment in any more detail. Further, we are partnering with state childcare licensing as they conduct their review. We will take any appropriate steps based on the findings once the assessment is concluded.”