A Georgia daycare center is under investigation by state officials after footage appears to show white children being fed before Black children
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is undergoing an investigation into Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy, a daycare center located in Roswell, Georgia, after livestream footage appeared to show white children being fed before Black children, according to reports.
Last week, parents who’d tuned in to the daycare center’s video footage noticed that white children, seated at multiple tables, appeared to have received food before Black children, who were sitting at the same tables, seemingly indicating that the white children were being fed first, regardless of where they were sitting, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Understandably upset parents shared still photos from the footage to social media and reached out to Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News to express their shock and disgust over what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to feed white children before Black children, which also calls into question what might else be going on behind the scenes if something this horrifying is happening while the teachers are knowingly on camera.
Officials at the center, located in a suburb of Atlanta, reportedly said that the food was passed out in accordance with “dietary restrictions,” but parents of the students told the news outlet exactly how they felt to see the disturbing images of Black children sitting empty-handed while their white counterparts had full plates of food.
“When I first saw it, I was very upset,” said Diona Howard. Adryan McCauley, who first shared the photo to Instagram, agreed, adding, “I felt like light needed to be exposed on this situation. It was sickening. When I saw, it was just disappointing. It’s disheartening. You think your kids are safe.”
Another parent, Tony Murrell, added, “I’m looking at the picture, like, ‘That’s my daughter!’ I was livid. I was very much displeased.”
When the photo began going viral online, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning launched an investigation, and the location shut down. Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy, a franchise operation with more than 170 locations across the country, seemingly scrubbed all evidence of its ownership, and the sign outside the building is now blank. Parents are now left to find alternate care for their children, ranging in age from infants to pre-K students.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kids ‘R’ Kids CEO and president, David Vinson, addressed the incident in a statement, saying, “our company has decided to terminate that franchisee’s Kids ‘R’ Kids contract and branding, effective immediately, leaving them to operate independently.” Vinson also reportedly called the video “disturbing” and noted that “the center failed to promote an inclusive culture.”
Several of the parents have joined together with attorney Mawuli Davis, who is concerned about the psychological effects of this kind of treatment on the young students. “At this age, the idea of preference is already in play. So out of that, children begin to question their own value, even at this young age,” Davis told Channel 2 Action News. “They went from table to table serving the white children and not serving the Black children. That’s what the picture shows.”
The owner of the nearby Sandy Plains location, Sue Boyle, released a statement on the Kids ‘R’ Kids website, addressing the “very ugly photos and videos” and specifying that the two locations operate separately. “We would never single out anyone according to their race and we treat everyone equally, with love and respect,” wrote Boyle. “We are honored that you give us the privilege of caring for your precious children and we strive every day to give them the love, kindness and dignity that all children deserve.”