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Oklahoma mothers rally behind owner of Oklahoma City shut down by DHS

BY RANDY ELLIS Modified: September 18, 2009 at 8:21 am •  Published: September 18, 2009
Tuesday’s Department of Human Services’ emergency closure of Vickie Thompson’s northwest Oklahoma City home-based day care has outraged several parents, many of whom claim their children were traumatized by the way DHS employees and police officers handled the situation.

"When I go to work, I do not have a concern for my children’s safety. When I drop them off at that day care, I know they are in wonderful hands,” said Nerissa Parks, who had two children at the home day care when it was shut down. "It’s just complete harassment.”

Thompson told The Oklahoman on Thursday she plans to appeal the closure.

"There wasn’t any kid in danger,” said Thompson, whose home day care is at 10100 Donna Court.

DHS and police executed an emergency closure order at the day care about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Thompson was cited for inadequate supervision after DHS reported that an unsupervised 12-year-old child was observed Sept. 11 "sitting in a dark garage, in the back seat of a vehicle.”

DHS also objected to the 12-year-old child being permitted to supervise a younger child by walking the girl back from a bus stop down the street. Thompson also was cited for exceeding her 12-child capacity by one and for having too many young children in her care.

Parks said she is the mother of a 6-year-old girl — the student referred to in the order as being escorted from the bus stop by a 12-year old.

Parks said she had no problem with the setup. The bus stop was in plain sight of the day care a supervisor, Parks said.

"Numerous kids walk home from school by themselves,” Parks said.

Shameika Thomas, the mother of the 12-year-old, said she also approved.

"We’re a big family.”

"We all know each other. ... I’m thinking my daughter is responsible enough to go to the end of a block and get a child off a bus.”

Thomas said her daughter, Zaria, was the child referred to as being unsupervised in the garage. Thomas said Zaria just wanted some quiet time to listen to her MP3 player.

"My child was not in any danger,” Thomas said. More Watchdog coverage Ongoing coverage of DHS


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