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Brilliant Minds Daycare in Tallahassee to remain open as DCF continues investigation

Two workers were arrested over the weekend
Posted at 6:25 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 18:25:46-05

TALLAHASSE, Fla. (WTXL) — A second daycare within one week is facing child abuse allegations, this time, after a parent turned over surveillance video of an employee allegedly mistreating multiple children.

What started off as a fight between kids ended with two daycare workers in Tallahassee facing charges. Two workers at the Brilliant Minds daycare are charged with abusing and neglecting children.

Tallahassee Police say the abuse was caught on cameras inside the Brilliant Minds daycare. This comes one week after two day cares in Valdosta were closed over abuse claims.

Joell Williams is charged with child cruelty and Stephanie Monday is charged with child neglect.

According to court documents, a child was kicked out of the daycare for fighting. The child's mother says she was given a video as proof, and once she started watching she made some disturbing discoveries.

The Department of Children and Families is in charge of watching over day cares in Florida. According to court documents, that's who the child's mother called to investigate.

Investigators say that surveillance video from the daycare shows Williams carrying a child upside down with a "sullen, almost angry expression."

Later in the video, investigators say 22-year-old Stephanie Monday is in a room with 15 children.

At one point, a child walks by with a book and another tries to take the book away. A fight breaks out, and instead of breaking the children up, investigators say Monday mouths "stop" and laughs.

Documents say that after the fight gets worse, WIlliams forcefully picks up one child and places her in a room. She then drags out another child by her hair.

Investigators say Williams is later seen smacking another child and pushing one by the back of her head.

TPD has not released that video since the investigation is ongoing.

Williams posted bail and Monday is out for "pre-trial supervision."

Brilliant Minds hasn't commented on what happened.

DCF says there's no requirement for places to notify parents when they have a violation or complaint like this one. DCF only issues emergency suspensions if their investigators fear children are in danger.

Brilliant Minds Daycare on Hendricks Road in Tallahassee has a history of non-compliance. According to a Feb. 6, 2020 report by the Florida Department of Children and Families, they inspected the facility and found at least two violations related to personnel records.

That paperwork centered around reporting requirements for child abuse and neglect on an annual basis. The owner is not currently facing charges, and is allowed to keep the doors open.

A DCF spokesperson says while their investigation continues, their folks will be working closely with the ownership, doing additional training and more frequent inspections, to make sure all remaining staff are following the rules and guidelines.

ABC 27 knocked on Brilliant Minds' door but an employee told us they couldn't comment on anything.

It could be a while before this facility is done with DCF. The time frame is usually a case-by-case basis.