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Second Parent Sues Hialeah Daycare Alleging Abuse

HIALEAH (CBS4) - Philomene Hodge believes the J. Ruiz Learning School in Hialeah is a danger to children. Her three young kids attended for three years, and she suspected abuse.

"They'd have different little scratches or bruises on their arms...but never make a report," Hodge told CBS4's Natalia Zea.

Hodge says she confronted the daycare owner, Jose Ruiz. He denied the abuse.

She says she took a job at the daycare doing maintenance work, to keep an eye on her kids.

She says she saw one daycare worker known as "Ms. Emma" abusing the children.

"She'll hit them for like petty little things, like if the child don't want to sit down or if the child's not listening to her and she felt like she'd talked to the child enough or whatever she just (smacks them), said Hodge.

Hodge says when she reported the abuse to Ruiz, he denied it and fired her.

She took all three of her children out of the daycare in October of 2010. She says she decided to come forward this month after seeing news reports of another mother's allegations.

In August, CBS4 news reported on the suit Trina Jackson filed against the daycare. She alleged the same worker neglected her daughter by allowing a group of girls to pull a braid out of her head. The incident was caught on the daycare's surveillance system.

That surveillance video also shows that worker hitting a boy and a little girl, and forcefully shoving the girl's chair while she sat in it. Zea tried to get Ruiz's side of the story but he quickly walked to his car avoiding her repeated questions.

Hodge is suing the daycare for the alleged abuse of her children, but she wants more than money.

"Justice for me would be them to be shut down," said Hodge.

We checked state records and found J. Ruiz Learning School is in compliance with the state. At this point, Hodge has not filed a formal complaint with DCF about the alleged abuse.

Click Here to check your child's daycare records with the State click here:

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