‘We want justice:’ 7 families file lawsuit alleging abuse, neglect at Crockett childcare center

CROCKETT Texas (KLTV) – The parents of seven children in Crockett have filed a lawsuit against Treehouse Academy Daycare, accusing it of repeated neglect and abuse. The families are being represented by Woodlands Law Firm Leger Ketchum and Cohoon.

“I felt like I had failed as a mother. That’s your one job is to protect your children, and I feel like I did not do that,” mother Jessie Pippin said.

“Picks him up, slams him back into the mat … she spanks him, she drags him across the room,” mother Paola Vargas Mendez said about what is shown in the surveillance video.

According to a Crockett Police Report, there were more videos like it involving more children.

“I didn’t know really, fully know what was going on until I got the call from the cops in April letting me know that my child was seen on camera being abused by the teachers at Treehouse,” mother Crystal Petri said. “You never think that your child is one of the ones that’s being abused at a daycare.”

Three female workers were charged, and were no-billed, meaning prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence to move forward. The the parents decided to sue the day care.

“We didn’t get anything out of the criminal case with the no-bill, so you know we want justice for our kids, we want justice for our family and we want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else again,” Petri said.

According to the lawsuit, the children are experiencing significant separation anxiety, developmental regression, significant distress, and anxiety among other things.

Their message to other parents?

“Pay attention and you’re not crazy. And when people tell you if you have a gut feeling, go after it,” Vargas Mendez said.

KLTV reached out to The Treehouse Academy and their attorney for comment. As of now, they have not responded.

Written by Lexi Vennetti

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