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Investigation into infant death leads to discovery of other violations

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Posted: Monday, January 27, 2014 6:31 pm | Updated: 12:00 pm, Fri Mar 7, 2014.

BRADENTON, FL-- New details being released in the investigation of an infant death at the Children's Academy of Southwest Florida.

The Manatee County private school and daycare was served with an emergency order to suspend portions of their services.

"A few of the violations that we uncovered from the facilities video include staff propping of bottles, not properly placing babies on their backs to sleep, and staff seen roughly picking up infants by one arm," said Natalie Harrell, from the Department of Children and Families.

And, the violations get worst.

"A teacher that originally cared for the infant early that morning did test positive that day for cocaine and marijuana and also admitted to the recent use of marijuana," added Harrell.

She says the infant who died at the school was no longer in the care of the teacher who tested positive for the drugs when she passed way. But, according to the report, that teacher was permitted to care for other infants even after the school's director was informed of the positive drug test.  The combination of violations prompted DCF to order the emergency suspension baring the facility to care for infants under the age of 12 months. They also denied the schools request to renew its license which expires at the end of the January.

"All of the parents who are receiving Early Coalition funding have all been contacted and we have offered them child care resource and referral to help them facilitate their move," said Lisa Morrison with the Early Learning Coalition.  

The Early Coalition is one of the funding sources for The Children's Academy of Southwest Florida. The group has not only been helping the parent find new childcare locations but also giving parents tips on how to make sure the new location is a safe one for their children.

"he have a quality check list that we give to each parent and we also have it on our website so the parent can use that to help remind them of things they need to look for," added Morrison.

In the mean time the investigation in the infants death continues.  We do know that before the child died she was feed and place in a crib on her stomach.  Officials are awaiting the autopsy to find the actual cause of death and depending on those results criminal charges could be filed.

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