The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has shut down a pair of day care providers on North Agency Street in Eagle Lake, outlining a list of shocking allegations of abuse.
The license of Mary Huber and her daughter-in-law Angela Huber was revoked as of Monday, after having been suspended for the last three months while their day care facility was under investigation by Blue Earth County Human Services.
In the letter of revocation, the DHS says the following violations by Mary Huber related to corporal punishment were determined:
o Holding a child’s face in a pool to the point where the child was coughing and asking for help.
o Tying rope around a child’s hands and pulling the child around the yard over rough surfaces.
o Slapping a child’s face and hand when the child attempted to intervene on behalf of another child who was being punished.
o Flicking a child on the face.
o Routinely subjecting children in care to corporal punishment by spanking children, including requiring children to pull down their pants to be spanked.
o Banging children’s heads against the wall when they stood in the corner for time out.
o Putting a running vacuum to the ear of a child who had chronic ear infections and ear surgery and then struck the child on the head with the vacuum cleaner hose when the child asked her to stop.
o Sitting on a child’s head and then directing other children in care to sit on the child’s head because the child accidentally fell on another child in care.
In addition, DHS says Mary Huber subjected children in care to emotional abuse by:
o Stripping off children’s clothing and placing them in a shower as punishment.
o Threatening additional punishment if children told their parents about physical punishment used on them. In one instance, Mary Huber threatened to kill the family members of a child if the child told about the punishment.
o Telling a child that s/he is fat and pinching the child’s stomach.
o Forcing children to clean the toilet with a rag as punishment for toileting accidents.
o Forcing children to remain naked from the waist down for toileting accidents while Mary and children in care pointed and laughed at them.
o Placing children in a “baby jail” which was described as a small gated space where infants were placed when they were “naughty.” Some children were placed in the “baby jail” for a large portion of the day.
o Subjecting children in care to excessive time-outs for large portions of the day and requiring children to eat their meals in the time out area. Children were allowed out of the time out area only to use the restroom.
The report also notes:
• You failed to provide required supervision when Mary and Angela left children outside without adult supervision and allowed children to use the pool without adult supervision.
• You failed to ensure that hazardous items were inaccessible to children when a child in care mowed the lawn.
• You failed to cooperate with parents in administering prescribed medication when directed by parents to do so.
• You failed to immediately report any suspected case of physical or sexual abuse or neglect when Angela witnessed and/or was told that Mary was using physical punishment on children and Angela failed to make the required report.
It’s unclear if the case could bring criminal charges, but as of yet no complaints against either Mary Huber or Angela Huber have been filed in Blue Earth County.
SMN has tried to reach the Hubers about the allegations and the license revocation, but we have not yet heard back.
The Hubers have 10 days to appeal the revocation if they choose.