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
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uot;Miss Vickie would never harm a child.”

Three other mothers with children at the day care — Nicole Anderson, Jenean Estrada and Adrina Grayson — told The Oklahoman they think Thompson has done a wonderful job caring for their children and plan to strongly support her in her appeal.

The women said what they didn’t appreciate was the way DHS and police handled the closure.

"When I went in the house it was total chaos,” Estrada said. "They told me my child’s life was in danger and they were doing an emergency shutdown.”

Parks said a police officer was in a child care provider’s face, screaming at her as the worker held Parks’ child in her arms.

Another of Parks’ children started screaming and crying because of the drama, Parks said.

Parks said she became even more upset when she looked at the DHS worker’s Facebook page later and saw where she had written that she was tired from having to shut down a day care and had to get "comfort food.”

"How unprofessional is that?” she asked.

Lauri Monetti, a DHS spokeswoman, said the decision to close the day care came after she was cited for a series of violations over several months, including being over capacity, lack of supervision, fire safety violations and issues with food and the cleanliness where diapers are changed.

Monetti said it is DHS’s policy to take a police officer along on emergency closures and acknowledged the officer did get loud during a discussion that took place after Thompson declined to meet in private.

Thompson said she has operated a home day care for four years and always got along well with DHS workers until the current worker came on the scene. She said previous workers would point out potential problems and make recommendations on how to correct them, but the current worker only seems interested in writing her up for violations.

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