HOUSTON (CN) – The mother of a 5-year-old boy claims a daycare provider hired a woman who ordered six children to punch her son in the face. The mom claims that Robindell Private School’s employee ordered the kids to punch her son in the face, one by one, and they did so, in a misguided attempt at discipline.
Barbara Mobley claims that Robindell employee Melissa Powell, who is not named as a defendant, intimidated her son in front of his classmates by asking him, “How would you like it if all the kids punched you in the face?”
Her son, D.W., had been placed in “timeout” after a dispute with a classmate during a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, according to the complaint in Harris County Court. Mobley says her son “attempted to rest during timeout but Melissa Powell shook him repeatedly, telling him to ‘wake up,’ and would not let him fall asleep while he was in ‘timeout.'”
As the kids lined up to get back onto vans to go back to Robindell, Mobley says, “In front of the other children, Powell intimidated [D.W.] and asked him, ‘How would you like it if all the kids punched you in the face?’ [D.W.] cried and begged for Melissa Powell to not allow the other children hit him in the face. Those cries went unanswered,” according to the complaint.
Her son cried and begged Powell not to let the other kids punch him, Mobley says.
As the kids loaded into a van following an outing to a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant Powell ordered them to walk by where Mobley’s son was sitting, and punch his face, which they did, according to the complaint.
The complaint continues: “Melissa Powell ordered 5-year-old [D.W.] to sit directly behind the driver’s seat in the Robindell van. She then instructed each kid, as they loaded the van, to punch [D.W.] in the face. [D.W.] unsuccessfully tried to cover his face and did not retaliate as, one by one, his classmates carried out Melissa Powell’s order.”
The child’s mom claims that “Powell’s torment of [D.W.] did not stop there. She claims that after Powell had her son beaten, she pulled him off the van “and told him that she planned to leave him in the parking lot.”
At that point, according to the complaint, Robindell’s transportation director saw the little boy crying and went over to ask what was going on. Powell told him a “fabricated story about [D.W.] hitting the other kids in the van,” the mother says.
Mobley says she called Robindell the next morning, “and told its director, Chuck Wall, about the incident. “Initially, Mr. Wall defended Robindell’s employee, Melissa Powell, until the six students confirmed the allegations.”
Wall fired Powell for “dishonesty,” after she denied the incident, though the six kids had confirmed it, Mobley says. She claims that Wall also kicked her son out of the school. She adds that Wall told her “that this was the second teacher that was fired from Robindell for instructing and allowing children to strike 5-year-old [D.W.]”
Mobley seeks punitive damages for pain and suffering. She is represented by Brant Stogner with Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend.