A woman said she was shocked to learn that a day care owner accused of hitting her 4-year-old son with a spatula will not face charges.
Brittany Henderson said she called police after her son had a bruise on his lip.
He told her he was hit in the face after getting into a fight with another boy at Titusville's J&A Joyful Hearts Academy.
"It was gut-wrenching. I mean, it was just. I was appalled," Henderson said. "That was supposed to be someone that was caring for him, and (the day care was) supposed to be his safe haven."
The Florida Department of Children and Families said it conducted two inspections at the facility.
Inspection records said that the agency learned of allegations that the owner "hit the children with a spatula, flip flop and a belt."
The owner told WFTV on Tuesday that she never used physical force on the children.
The state attorney's office said it did not have enough evidence to file criminal charges.
"It is not a crime for a parent (or someone acting as the child care provider) to impose reasonable physical discipline, even though physical injury resulted from the punishment," the office said.
Henderson described the decision as sickening.
"He was hurt -- not just physically, but emotionally," she said. "This is just something that's probably going to stick with him for the rest of his life."
Inspection records said the day care also allowed a 12-year-old to watch an infant, and the owner hired a convicted felon.
Henderson said she hopes the state takes permanent action against the day care.
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.