A daycare teacher was fired for using a toddler's belly as a notepad and scrawling a message for the mother with a dark-colored marker.
Heather Chisum, of Sanibel Island, Florida, noticed the message in ink on her 18-month-old son Milo's belly after picking him up from the Children's Education Center of the Islands.
"Mom I'm out of diapers. Pls read my report."
The "report" was in reference to the messages left in Milo's lunchbox by the center's staff indicating his mood, what times his diaper was changed, and if he needs more diapers or wipes.
On Monday night, Chisum posted the picture of her tot on Facebook and asked fellow mothers if her outrage was warranted.
"I need opinions. Am I right to be furious about this? Or am I over reacting? I really need your opinions guys, because I'm about to barge in this daycare tomorrow morning and have some words."
The 23-year-old mother continued:
"I'm a single mom with a full time job and two very young children. SUE ME FOR NOT READING THE REPORT EVERY SINGLE DAY."
"I guess yesterday they wrote on his report that he needs diapers, and I failed to see that."
"Now keep in mind, I see several teachers at drop off and several at pick up, if I failed to see that he needs diapers a simple, 'Hey Heather, your son needs diapers maybe you missed the report' would have done the trick."
"From any of the many teachers there I see daily."
"But instead, I change his diaper this afternoon AND SEE THIS WRITTEN ON MY SON WITH MARKER."
"You can't even see all of it in the pic.. it says, 'Mom I'm out of diapers pls read my report'. I've scrubbed it with several baby wipes and it's not coming off."
"I had plans to take them to the beach to play, and now I can't because my son has writing all over him."
"In the very worst case scenario, I can't see anything other than 'need diapers' needing to be written."
"Why a big long message needed to be written across my sons stomach is beyond me."
"OR WRITE IT ON HIS DIAPER OR YA KNOW, JUST TELL ME?!?"
"The best part???? THIS ISNT THE FIRST TIME. They've done this several months ago too."
She concluded her post by asking if she was over-reacting.
Chisum was surprised to discover that her post blew up with 26,000 shares by Tuesday afternoon.
"I thought just a few friends, mothers, would comment."
The Facebook jury has spoken, and they did NOT approve.
Some suggested she take immediate legal action.
According to News Press, the teacher who held Milo down and scribbled the message on his stomach was fired.
Cindy Carter DeCosta – the executive director of the Children's Education Center of the Islands on Sanibel Island – called the incident a breach of professional ethics.
"We are aware of the incident at the school, and we are terribly sorry for the distress it has caused the family involved as well as all of our families."
"It was a breach of our professional ethics on the part of the teacher."
"The school has taken immediate action to remove the teacher from the school. We are reviewing protocols already in place to ensure that nothing like this occurs again."
Susan Block, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers – which handles contracts for low-income and at-risk educational services – said her coalition will look into the incident.
"Our staff will investigate. I suspect in any group of individuals you'll get one bad actor."
"That's what we will investigate for assurances that it won't happen again."
Though the school met with Chisum and gave her the option to remain, her mind was already made up.
Chisum, who also has a 3 1/2-year-old daughter, Finley, said:
"I'm so beyond frustrated. I will no longer take them there."
However, given the limited options of daycare in the vacation community on the Gulf of Mexico where she lives, Chisum is reconsidering keeping them at the Children's Education Center.
But she will take off the rest of the week from work to look for other facilities.