VIDEO: Teacher charged with assault against 4-year-old at Fairfield daycare

The girl’s mother says she is grateful for the daycare’s swift action.
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 10:13 PM EDT
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Warning: The video of the alleged assault is provided below. Some viewers may find it disturbing.

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - The mother of a 4-year-old is praising a Fairfield daycare for how they handled an alleged assault by a teacher against her daughter.

Erneste Pumah says the alleged assault at Wilde Kingdom Early Learning Center was caught on camera in June.

“It’s very hard to watch,” Pumah said.

She claims the video shows Pumah’s daughter brought into a classroom by a teacher who found her wandering in the hall. Then, according to Pumah, teacher James Ciolino puts his hands on and pushes Pumah’s daughter, who immediately starts crying.

“To me,” said Lisa McMillion, “the push was forceful enough to warrant assault charges.”

McMillion is the director of Wilde Kingdom. She filed a police report and fired both teachers.

Ciolino and the teacher who brought the 4-year-old into the room are charged with endangering children. Ciolino faces an additional assault charge.

McMillion says both teachers came highly recommended and passed five-point background checks. She explains they had been working at the daycare for three weeks and had only just started being left alone with children when the alleged assault happened.

“I felt like it was important that he not work with children,” said McMillion of why she filed the report.

Now Pumah says she feels “indebted” to McMillion for handling the situation so seriously.

“All I can say is, God bless her heart,” she said.

Both teachers pleaded not guilty in court. They have trial dates set for November.

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