Lawmaker pushing for less regulation has child die in a hot car at his facility

Lawmaker pushing for less regulation has child die in a hot car at his facility

He is the CEO of a child care facility and a legislator who is pushing for less regulation of child care facilities?

Why is this allowed.

I worked for seven years in the day care industry in Arkansas. It is NOT over regulated. Much of the staff is under trained and/or underpaid. They take care of our most vulnerable citizens and they should hold themselves accountable to a high standard of care.

Here's what happened for the people who are confused here.

"Bus driver Felicia Ann Phillips, bus monitor Pamela Robinson, Ascent's Transportation Supervisor Wanda Taylor and Van Safety Inspector Kendra Washington are all charged with manslaughter.

Police said it was reckless negligence that led to Christopher being left alone on that van in the first place.

Detectives said all four women had a duty to either check the van Monday morning after it dropped kids off at Ascent Children’s Health Services or make sure all the riders made it inside the facility.

Employees said they checked the bus that day, but during a news conference on Friday, police said based on their investigation, there is no way they could have checked the bus and not seen the child from where he was.

The workers were supposed to do a walk-through of the van to make sure it was empty and then hit a safety button in the back, but police said the workers instead opened the back door from the outside and hit the safety button without walking through the inside.

Police said one of the woman, Wanda Taylor, also admitted to checking Christopher into the classroom even though he didn’t go inside."

Same goes for our teaching system. One of the most important government workers getting paid one of the lowest salaries.

They had also moved the van three times before they discovered him.

That, Will Smith, is the right question.

Jesus. I check the backseat for robbers at least twice just moving my car to a different spot in the driveway. That's unbelievable

i once substitute taught a special ed high school class for ONE hour.

those teachers should be making 100k a year


In the early aughts there was a cluster of children dying in WI daycares for a variety of reasons, most of them would have been preventable if the providers had been following existing rules.

One successful outcome of the public outrage was a state wide rating system. Losing points on a scale because you don't have trained staff or because your staff were not washing hands after diaper changes, helps lead to a culture and expectation that your staff will follow the rules and your facility is safe. Having an incentive to usually pay attention to follow rules that were made for a reason reduces the shitty attitude that anything goes because there are really no consequences.

So, what you are saying is, regulation and oversight caused an increase in training and accountability, and a decrease in child deaths.

Clearly this is a burden on both taxpayers and business alike... (/s)

Your fellow us citizens want this. They vote in people who gerrymander election districts and then vote to deregulate things. All so they can get a tax cut in their next taxes for $100. Even though the programs they support cutting would probably help them gain $1000+ in their bank accounts instead of paying out of pocket. Aka, universal healthcare for example.

People are ignorant and selfish in this country. They will cut off their own noses just so they can watch their fellow citizen suffer.

I don't think anyone who's seen the work a teacher does every day could say that they get paid anywhere near enough

This seems like a systemic problem.

When one employee screws up, it is a mistake, when it takes several employees bypassing safety procedure in order to make their work ever so slightly easier, it seems like something that is a routine part of their work there.

I'm glad they're bringing a case against the Supervisor. Not just for erroneously checking in the child, but also because they're likely the cause of the whole environment that make it possible for this to occur. They likely either directly or indirectly encouraged this kind of unsafe behaviour.

I bet this isn't the first time they've put a child in danger, just the first time they got caught/it had fatal consequences.

Act 576, the only bill sponsored by Sullivan that became law during the 91st General Assembly, stripped the commission of its authority to regulate child care centers.

It seems that they accidentally left out his political affiliation in the article. Double-checked to make sure. So I had to look it up.

Does anyone want to guess? Go on, take a wild shot in the dark.

That, Detective, is the right question.

Program terminated.

Sullivan (Healthcare CEO/State Rep) appeared before the Arkansas Early Childhood Commission and requested it reduce a new requirement that 50% of all child care employees at any facility be certified in CPR and first aid.

Is this a joke? It takes less than a day to learn CPR.

I'm not with the "less regulation" crowd, but isn't letting children die in a hot car already illegal?

Robbers and not zombies?

My dad's pissed they are raising taxes in Kansas after Brownbacks destroyed the state. He may see $100 extra and his grandkids will have funding for education, among other things.

Similar thing happened in Kansas last year; Republican lawmaker, who fought against safety regulations, wound up with his kid decapitated on a water ride..

TLDR: Playing politics with people's safety is all fun and games until it's your own children.

That's what amazes me about this push to be "more friendly to business". Regulations are supposed to be burdensome. However, they didn't come out of a vacuum. These didn't just appear one day. Regulations come from people and businesses ignoring their duty to customers and consumers resulting in some harm. The government comes in when they can't be trusted to take the precautions necessary. Yes it costs more. Safety costs money.

That said, I'm ok with a periodic review of regulations to determine need and efficacy.

Right, except with regulation comes enforcement. If the regulators made checks on child care facilities, with violations resulting in massive fines / shutting down, the facilities would be forced to ensure they constantly check and follow their procedures at all times. Excellent training would also be required. When there are no checks and no enforcement of regulations, people and companies get lazy and companies start cutting wherever they can. The result is shit like this.

That's the part that kills me, or him I guess. He has diabetes and is cheering for the ACA to be gone do he can save money...

It's irrelevant. If you do away with these meddlesome regulations, the institutions will regulate themselves. They really have the populace's best interests at heart inherently. /s

People want to become teachers, the demand for them is largely fixed, and the qualification threshold to become one isn't particularly high (bachelor's degree).

Edit: After reading some replies, it's been brought to my attention that eight states require an advanced degree for a full teaching license. (I know, I know, it's a NYDN article, but they cite the National Council on Teacher Quality for this bit.)

Living dead girls in the Dragula are a serious problem

I have this phobia about a serial killer sitting in my back seat waiting to garrote me, I check the back seat before I get in and a few times while driving. I blame "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark"

Wow. So many things had to be ignored for this kind of negligence to take place. Sad. It's safe to assume the way they bypassed all those procedures was habit; they had it down to a science. Just open the door, push the button, and tick all the boxes during role call without even bothering to actually see if the kid is there. I'm sure they had gotten away with it many times before without incident.

I always hear this, but then why do so many people sign up to do it?

Altruism substituting for wages isn't a sustainable business model, but substituting low-skilled for high -skilled workers is.

It's an i, Robot reference.

Cut benefits for everyone

I mean if a daycare center kills my kid, I can always choose to not give them my business and take the next one somewhere else!

Not his, of course, right?

To paraphrase David Graeber:

Our society pays people in inverse proportion to their usefulness and importance to the continued survival of our species and the wellbeing they provide to us personally. If all the hospice nurses, janitors and teachers just didn't show up for work one day, the world would end within six hours. If all the hedge fund managers, corporate lawyers and lobbyists went on strike, who would notice?

When was the last time you met with a hedge fund manager? Did you stop by the law office on your way to work to drop off your kids? Would you trust a lobbyist to take care of your children or senile grandmother?

Yay, I saved $50, and it only cost me 100 times that much and maybe my life if I can't pay!

Money money money, must be funny, in a rich mans world.

"I need less regulation"

Translation: My workers need to be more replaceable so I can pay them less.

And many states will pay your in-state tuition if you agree to teach upon graduation for a minimum number of years (5 where I'm from).

I had a few friends who took advantage of the program. They all found a new job year 6.

Exactly! Why can't people see that profit motive and the best interests of the public are always in perfect alignment?

These companies pureposely hire the cheapest shittiest labor to pad the bottom line.

I'm pretty sure that's how capitalism, and businesses in general, work.

It always confuses me how they constantly cut education and then wonder why schools don't do better. Here in Mississippi we're at the ass end of the scale on funding and it shows. So our legislature passed a bill that set a minimum per student funding that would bring us in line with the civilized states. The never once met the minimum, and recently passed a bill so they can't be held accountable for breaking THEIR OWN DAMN LAW

Yeah that startled me too. This is near the lowest of standards to be certified in, and one that should be a "no brainer" for all care employees, regardless of regulation. Almost like they're doing it out of spite for regulations.

Thank you. I was confused as the original article did not say anything about charges being pressed.

You can be left on a bus, but in a van. English is weird.

Still would feel better if the CEO saw the inside of a jail cell over something like this. These companies purposely hire the cheapest shittiest labor to pad the bottom line.

WTF. in my job (juvenile corrections) 100%of staff including janitors are CPR certified. Not some 50 percent bullshit. It's not that hard to get an hour of training every three years.

Where teachers are treated the worst, there is less competition for the job. I went to a rural elementary school for 4 years where every school in the county shared a single guidance counselor. All of the bus drivers were also teachers. Occasionally there wouldn't be enough teachers and somebody's mom would fill in for a few months. This was in the 90s, but cuts to education in that state have been so deep since then it can't be any better now.

I literally saw this first hand. My father is disabled and will need hundreds of dollars of medication each month to reach even a manageable quality of life. He says obamacare is a disaster and that it was the worst piece of legislation ever written, yet used the aca medicaid expansions to get cheap insurance in the last state he lived in which made his monthly prescriptions cost roughly as much as a good six pack and gave him free copays. Now that he moved to a red state that never passed the expansions, he relies on medicare and spends near a grand a month in prescriptions and hundreds in shit supplement insurance payments and co pays.

The kicker? He admits healthcare was better in the blue state but still thinks "obamacare" needs to go. He is literally the dumbest human being I've ever been face to face with in my life and regularly says all government aid in all forms needs to be privatized. He moved from a "liberal bastion" to a hick paradise and now spends so much money just to not be in constant pain he can barely afford both food and alcohol (I'll let you guess which he ends up buying).

Reminds me of a young woman I once worked with at a long term care facility. We go into every resident's room at the beginning of each shift and take vitals. But she has been simply making up numbers and walking back out. She got caught because one resident had passed away during the previous shift but his remains were waiting for transportation to the funeral parlor. Her chart claimed he had a blood pressure and pulse not far off from the day before. The hall nurse did check after seeing her chart just to be sure.

Whenever someone pushes for less regulation I always want to know EXACTLY wtf they mean by that. Where is all this over regulation? All I see are necessary regulations. Please point out one that actually doesn't make sense before you talk to me about over regulation (you knuckle dragger)

I think it's silly to pretend this is the fault of wealthy, unaccountable politicians. You are out of touch with the voting population. Speak with the conservatives who dominate the vote in that state. Ask them if they think more funding will help the schools. The answers you get will be along the lines of "throwing money at a problem won't fix it"... "it'll just go to government waste"... "I'd pay higher taxes if I trusted politicians to use that money properly but they'll just buy themselves a vacation and a private jet" and on and on.

The problem isn't the wealthy politicians. It's the poisonous attitude that government is the enemy and can't do anything right, so instead of constant vigilance and the challenging task of optimizing government, we should just tear it down/shrink it/defund it.

What does your Dad think the solution there is?

Don't forget farmers. The source for our food is pretty important too.

The people making the cuts are wealthy politicians who can pay for top tier schooling. They don't care.

Unless you are profitable for Wall Street you are useless.

Free market wins again!

Lol yep they can't follow the side-effects past step 1.

1) Derp derp save money taxes bad mmkay. Profit!

Steps ignored

2) Die

That's what irritates about people. They want me to cry because while I got a 3k raise this year I'm supposed to rant and rave that I'll be possibly paying an extra $500 a year in taxes that help people out. There's other people in my area of town doing far better than me and even more mad about it.

I'm doing fine, please take some to help those who aren't. The rest are selfish pricks

Yep. That's it. Spending money on kids is "throwing money at the problem" and won't improve stuff, whereas throwing money at rich people will magically solve every problem.

It's the same shit as anti vaxers, once the problem is kinda gone people stop realising why something is the way it is. Oh, no one has polio or measles, lets stop vaccinating because it's unnecessary.

Kids aren't dying in daycare anymore, lets relax the regulations, it probably is entirely unrelated. People are so fucking stupid, I was going to say sometimes, but it's way way more than sometimes.

They will cut off their own noses just so they can watch their fellow citizen suffer.

That is the crux of it. Spite drives voting, and carpet baggers take advantage of spite so easily.

Damn. And I thought he was onto something. I guess he was into something?

Any cost is too much. Every single dollar not legally required to be spend on the children is a dollar too much. The CEO would likely be happiest if he could leave the children alone in a public park and call it 'daycare' so he could pocket literally all of the money.

The biggest problem for food in the U.S. is food distribution. You have some people starving and you have grocery stores and food warehouses and throwing a signifucant amounts of the food away because it doesent fit a visual standard.

Demolishing building.

That book has fucked up dozens of our generation, seriously. The slithery dee came out of the sea...

Not to seem unsympathetic to a tragedy here, but there are already regulations that were not followed.

(Edit: here's a link to the seventy pages of detailed licensing requirements for Arkansas day care centers, including those requiring explicit checks to see that everybody got off the bus.

There's a difference between more regulations, and more compliance / enforcement of existing regulations. The more regulations you have, the harder it is to comply with them all, and it leads to compliance / enforcement fatigue on even the most important regulations.

"But had existing regulations been followed at one of his centers, five-year-old Christopher Gardner would be alive."

Yeah! Why should lawmakers consider other people when making laws!


Right, but this lawmaker is working to remove existing regulations that he wasn't following. That will make his business more profitable by sheltering it from fines, and help protect it from consequences like being sued when he hurts or kills children.

And, frankly, if the free market didn't want dead children, there wouldn't be dead children.

Well, it includes muslims, blacks and lazy liberals too.

It wasn't their child, so why should they care?

There really should be context commented into the laws. A lot of laws just...exist, with no explanation as to why they were enacted in the first place.

If lawmakers had to include some sort of justification for the laws, that could be understood easily and concisely by the people fifty years in the future, it'd not only help people then, it'd probably help people now.

The idea that profit drivers and closers should be the only real citizens in corporate America is getting disgusting. We desperately need to overhaul, train and pay so much of the social work done in this country. Not to mention the roads, bridges, and schools.

Nahhh, let's keep bitching about perceived slights on Twitter instead...

Dude the fact they moved the van three times and the lady called in for the kid... they did this shit on purpose like.. how fucking STUPID can you be holy shit.. and I imagine the kid must of been yelling and banging at some point in the back.

I cannot imagine how horrifying the last of that child's life must have been.

Now I'm just imagining Rob hiding in his neighbour's cars all the time and popping out as they're driving.

"Hah, I can't believe she said that, we all know that Sheila is the last person to talk about clams after what happened with Marco in '06."

"I know, that's what I was saying to"



There are a lot of factors going into it. Teacher attrition is very, very high. A lot of people "try it out", thinking they might like it. Many find they don't and they leave the field. Further, enrollment rates for education programs is plummeting.

Historically, pay was better (relative local costs). The rapid increase in housing costs in urban areas hasn't correlated with an equally rapid increase in salary. Further, teachers usually had their summers off. Now, a lot of teachers in a lot of districts have to spend big parts of their summers in training.

Testing requirements, constrained curriculums, etc. also mean more and more teachers are taking their work home with them.

In some districts, larger class sizes are also a major issue. There's a big difference between a 15 person class and a 25 person one.

And don't forget the "Mean Girls" environment these teachers are subjected to. The same people you couldn't wait to get away from in junior/high school are now your co-workers (Edit -- Grammar: To, not Too)

Because they don't think they are receiving any benefits. They actually believe in all the GOP boogeyman out there and feel that people making $45,000 a year can get food stamps, or that illegals are taking jobs from everyone even if they have never seen such a thing happen.

Poor kid probably got weak and ill before he could do anything. I'm hoping he passed out before too much time went by. God, I feel awful just typing that.

This whole thing isn't even stupidity. It's pure, unadulterated laziness on their part. It reminds me of that story (I think it was California) where a girl's neighbors called 911 after hearing screaming. The cops "checked" outside the home, and "didn't see anything" after claiming to look through the windows. Turns out she was being raped and murdered inside.

I, Robot

Why don't people understand that "everyone" includes them? 100 % serious.

Why is it allowed for a former CEO of a Fortune 500 oil field company to become vice president, help lead a war effort in a country for no good reason and then grant said oil field company a $7 billion dollar oil/infrastructure contract in that country?

Well no, he's a hard worker. You cut benefits for all the lazy people (everyone but him).

Before tagging me "knuckle-dragger," indulge me a speculation! I am a teacher with an education in economics, used to be a financial advisor. I THINK regulation has more to do with the theory that government oversight (by people NOT specialized in whichever industry/field/profession/discipline) leads to corrupt administration of said oversight, vulnerable to collective action that uses the oversight to benefit SOME while hosing OTHERS!

From this standpoint, I think the knuckle draggers are well-intended with their cries for "deregulation!" Which, to me, makes sense because it's an inefficient use of tax payer money to create obstacles to entrance into a market for new and innovative people trying to make the industry better.

From MY perspective of oversight, aka regulation, there is a body, composed of experienced trained specialists, of regulators who know the nuances ou'd a field, and determine malice or excellence in retrospect, and work towards betterment and the cutting edge of the profession!

I think what happens, in reality, is a myriad of things in-between the two extremes... corruption vs free-for-all. I wonder if we could somehow create a system of adequate (gov't) oversight that simply considers the actions and processes of the regulation (alliance of field specific minds)?

There ARE systems that function like this... just not enough!

Let's take time to listen to one another, instead taking it to the mattresses against one another. I bet there are MANY opportunities for a "more perfect union!"

Sure would be terrible to have experienced professionals who know the laws and how government actually works making the most fundamental decisions about our government. Nope. Much better to have dilettante part-time amateurs running things.

"Run government more like a business!" Yeah, I'm sure Walmart and Microsoft are going to fire their full-time-plus CEOs and hire part-timers who also run scrap yards and ice cream parlors. That would totally improve how well those companies are run.

Sounds like they probably wrote the article as "bus" and then did a find-and-replace for "van", then.

That joke was so good, it makes me Feel So Numb.

From what I understand there is.

The debate and comment period is all public record. I think something like that easily accessible from the law itself would be nice.

On a horse. In a houseboat. In a canoe. On a raft.

It also goes down the toilet if the decisions are being made by people who have short-term incentives that outweigh long-term ones.

I'm put in mind of a nursing facility my wife once worked at. They wouldn't pay enough to attract good employees (or, ultimately, many employees at all - nursing is a very small world). This meant that things were perpetually understaffed, and as a result, the remaining nurses and aides had very little disincentive to act like assholes - they knew that they couldn't be fired (and in fact as a manager my wife was explicitly forbidden to write them up, for a while). So work wasn't getting done, and again, there wasn't enough labor to go around - and they refused to hire agency nurses (ie, trained, skilled temps) because, as the VP put it, "You have managers to pick up the slack" (because, you know, why not push the problem onto the salaried employees who don't cost extra if they work more?).

So patient outcomes and quality of care went in the shitter (and this is the kind of thing, by the way, that absolutely can cost lives). The facility went into freefall as more and more of their veteran employees left (and they were less and less able to replace them). I'd be surprised if they haven't closed entirely.

And why?

Well, it's very simple. The director of the facility received a substantial bonus for staying under budget. And I'm sure that her boss, the aforementioned VP, did as well.


There's a politician in Kansas who flat out demands to get rid of public schools, because he "sent his kids to private school so why should he pay for other kids' schooling?"

I love it. The people who really adhere to this theory think that a business that truly is terrible will be pushed out by better competitors. They never stop to think that maybe, just maybe, every member of the competition is terrible and that without any regulation, freedom of choice means choosing between the daycare that had four child deaths and six injuries last month vs the daycare that had three child deaths and twelve injuries. Just because a business is awful doesn't mean it couldn't keep its ledger in the black.

High Beams :/ shit fucked me up

That's now the official policy of the Oval Office as well. DeVos is a huge proponent of starving public education until it fails.

why is he will smith?

This discussion around politics is actually one of the saddest takeaways from this article.

Why? Prosecute people after tragic accidents, of course. But isn't it also important to prevent future tragic accidents? Or would you be happy in a world where children regularly perished in preventable accidents as long as someone was jailed afterwards?

I sympathize and won't say it's perfect, there are many improvements that can be made for sure.

But the idea of throwing it out and eating a hot cat turd is better is a joke.

You know those songs existed before the movie, right?

It all depends on what you get out of having good workers. If experience lets you say, complete tasks twice as quickly, then paying you twice as much for your work time is 'breaking even' on the cost of the worker, but there's more! You either serve more customers in the same time frame (and earn more money) or you have smaller business hours (which can mean less costs) either of which net better total income.

...but if good labor can't achieve those things, or if management can't see the value in skilled labor, then all this goes down the toilet.