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Day care employee fired for writing 'I'm out of diapers' on toddler's stomach

A Florida mother went to change her son's diaper after picking him up from day care and found that an employee had written on the child in marker.
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/ Source: TODAY

A day care employee has been fired after a mother's post about her son coming home with a note written in marker on his stomach went viral on social media.

"Am I right to be furious about this? Or am I overreacting?" Heather Chisum asked in her Facebook post alongside two photos of her young son, who has "I'm out of diapers" written on his stomach in large letters.

According to Chisum, it's standard for teachers at the Children's Education Center of the Islands, a day care in her city of Sanibel, Florida, to leave a "daily report paper" in children's lunchboxes.

"It says what mood he was in for the day, what times they changed his diapers, and if he needs diapers or wipes," Chisum wrote. "I'm a single mom with a full time job and two very young children. SUE ME FOR NOT READING THE REPORT EVERY SINGLE DAY."

Chisum said that she failed to see the report from the previous day, which indicated that her son needed more diapers. When she went to change his diaper after bringing him home from the day care center on Monday, she found the writing on her son's stomach.

"It says 'Mom, I'm out of diapers pls read my report,'" Chisum wrote. "I've scrubbed it with several baby wipes and it's not coming off. ... In the very worst case scenario, I can't see anything other than 'need diapers' needing to be written. Why a big long message needed to be written across my son's stomach is beyond me."

In her post, Chisum also noted that she sees several teachers during drop-off and pick-up times.

"If I failed to see that he needs diapers, a simple 'Hey Heather, your son needs diapers, maybe you missed the report' would have done the trick," she said. "From any of the many teachers I see there daily."

In a comment on her post, Chisum said her son was wearing "the same diapers I always bring him," so she believes that the diapers were "running low" but not completely depleted. She also noted in her post that the day care had "done this several months ago too" but didn't provide any further details. Chisum could not be reached by TODAY Parents for comment.

When TODAY Parents reached out to the Children's Education Center of the Islands, executive director Cindy Carter DeCosta said through a prepared statement that the employee had been fired.

"We are aware of the incident at the school, and we are terribly sorry for the distress it has caused the family involved as well as all of our families," DeCosta wrote. "It was a breach of our professional ethics on the part of the teacher. The school has taken immediate action to remove the teacher from the school. We are reviewing protocols already in place to ensure that nothing like this occurs again. We are proud of our school, love our students, and are eager to make our school a better place as we move forward."

DeCosta also noted that the school had "met with the family involved" and "understand and share their concerns and have ensured them that their children will always be safe here."

Chisum told a local news outlet, The News-Press, that she has removed her son and her other child from the day care and intends to find a new day care.

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