‘A situation no parent can fathom being in’: Lawsuit filed against Vanguard Academy daycare

A lawsuit released Wednesday lists 13 counts against Vanguard Academy daycare in east Louisville.
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 11:47 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A lawsuit released Wednesday lists 13 counts against Vanguard Academy daycare in east Louisville.

The claims in the lawsuit against Vanguard Academy include spraying kids with water bottles, dropping infants and cursing at them.

One of the incidents mentioned in the lawsuit occurred Sept. 28. The daycare said a day later it was working with law enforcement in its investigation.

Racheal Flannery, 24, was arrested in connection to the incident on Sept. 30.

Childcare centers are inspected yearly by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The agency investigates reports of violations when they receive them, and Vanguard has several of them.

The Vanguard Academy has been investigated at least 30 times since 2012.

”This is a situation that no parent really can fathom being in,” parent Hayley Russell said. “We still have not seen all of the video footage. So they have withheld key pieces of the violence that occurred, which has been a hindrance of us getting appropriated medical care, making sure our son was checked out.

That conversation about her 8-month old son would be the start of an 18-page lawsuit Russell and her husband filed against the center.

“We just feel that parents should know what went on there and what may continue to go on there,” Russell said.

Russell said she never expected to get the phone call she did from the daycare.

”He had a very large bruise on his left upper arm that very clearly resembles fingers,” Russell said. “And a very large bruise on his left cheek. And he also had an abrasion on his lower lip.”

Flannery’s arrest report claims she tried to force a bottle into one child’s mouth and purposefully dropped another on the floor, among other accusations.

Police charged Flannery with with three counts of criminal abuse of a victim younger than 12. She’s now on home incarceration after posting her $25,000 bond.

The lawsuit also claims Vanguard Academy didn’t do full background checks on employees, had poor training procedures, and ignored concerns from parents and employees.

Some parents say in the lawsuit the daycare hired addicts who used drugs in the facility.

Attorney Alex White explained why parents should never accept vague answers about their child from a daycare.

“Whenever we are talking about children that are six and seven years old,” White said. “That can’t speak for themselves, can’t even explain to their parents when they get home, what even happened. It’s really rough.”

WAVE News reached out to Vanguard Academy for a comment but did not receive a response.