GARLAND, Texas — The anxiety a parent feels dropping off a child at a day care for the first time is common.
Alicia Ortega said she felt that way on Monday when she dropped off her 2-year-old son, Ezra, to Little Butterflies Learning Center North in Garland.
But the mother said she felt some relief knowing the day care boasted an in-house camera that shows live video of the classrooms.
At work, decided to log on to the portal. That's when she said she saw something that caught her eye.
"I immediately started recording when I realized that things didn't look right," she said.
Ortega recorded a series of videos on her phone and posted them to Facebook. She said the video shows a day care worker in Ezra's classroom acting angry and yelling at children. Ortega said the video also showed the day care worker "forcibly" handling children.
WFAA is protecting the identity of the day care worker in question because no criminal charges have been brought against her.
But Ortega said over and over, the videos showed the same thing.
"Am I just being an overprotective mom?" she said she wondered. "So I sent it to his dad."
Bryant Randles is Ezra's biological father. He said he took one look at the video and that was enough.
He told WFAA that he left work immediately and proceeded to remove their 2-year-old child from the Garland day care.
"She was actually forcibly sitting him down," he said. "I couldn't watch after that. That was pretty intense."
Four hours after dropping him off, the couple took him home for good.
Garland police got involved and called Child Protective Services. The Department of Family and Protective Services confirmed to WFAA that it is investigating.
WFAA reached out to the day care. The manager, who identified himself as "JR," said the worker has been fired and that they reported it to CPS and the licensing department.
"It was an improper way to instruct a class," Jr said. "... We took the proper steps."
"I really don't think it was their plan to fire her until they saw that it went viral," Ortega countered.
DFPS says it will take 30 days to fully investigate. Garland police say there will be no criminal charges filed against the day care worker.
"There's something to be said about looking really deep into where you're taking your children," Bryant said.
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