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Mother Alleges Neglect At Hialeah Day Care Center

HIALEAH (CBS4) - Was it a simple fight between children in a daycare, or a vicious attack that should have been stopped by the adult in the room?

That's the question a civil court jury may have to answer.

Trina Jackson is suing her 5-year-old daughter Kayla's former daycare, J. Ruiz Learning School in Hialeah.

Jackson says during the fight, caught on the daycare video that was released to her lawyer, a group of little girls pulled her daughter's braid out. The video shows the caregiver in the room ignoring the fighting until another little girl shows her the braid. The caregiver then examines Kayla's head and they walk out. Jackson says when she confronted the daycare about the missing hair they gave her different stories.

"They told me a bunch of things. They said her hair had been in too long, she was brought to school like that....was very upset, angry," Jackson told CBS4's Natalia Zea.

This video also shows the daycare worker striking children. She appears to hit a little boy in the face.

Ten minutes later, she appears to slap a little girl on the arm, and moments later while that girl cried she forcefully pushes her chair.

"Clearly she's not treating any of the children correctly, she's very rough with the kids," said Jackson's attorney Christopher Wadsworth.

Parents CBS4 News spoke with, like Crystal Hammel stand by the daycare.

"I don't believe for one fact that these kids are being mistreated or neglected," said Hammel.

The daycare owner, Jose Ruiz wouldn't talk on camera. He would only say over the phone, "This thing was investigated by the Miami Dade Police Department and DCF and nothing happened. This is a case of a parent making a big stink out of something only for money."

Police and DCF did both investigate after Jackson filed complaints with them. Both agencies closed their cases. But the initial allegation that they investigated was that the caregiver pulled out the braid, not the children. Jackson now says the real offense was the caregiver's alleged neglect.

Jackson is seeking more than 15-thousand dollars in damages.

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