Wisconsin daycare faces potential lawsuit after toddler exposed to cocaine: ‘He’s not the same’


Shock and disbelief gripped the parents of a Wisconsin one-year-old when doctors discovered cocaine in his system, causing investigators to turn their eyes toward a local daycare.

“He’s not the same,” his mom Kimberly Hopson told “Fox & Friends First” Thursday.

Hopson and the baby’s father James Staples gave a firsthand account of their horrific experience that began when Hopson noticed scrapes and bruises on her son.

“He’s restless now. He used to be a very good sleeper, but now I just catch him in the middle of the night, tossing and turning, or he’ll just be sitting there. He doesn’t eat as much as he used to. He throws tantrums. Now, there’s moments where he would just put his head on the floor, and I can’t console him. I don’t know what’s wrong, and I’m his mom,” Hopson continued.

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“Everything I used to do [would] make him happy, and sometimes I can’t make him happy.”

The child’s urine sample tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a primary metabolite of cocaine, after Hopson took him to a local children’s hospital in Milwaukee earlier this month, according to a local report.

After finding no evidence of the drug at Hopson’s home, investigators turned their attention to the KinderCare daycare, where a drug detection dog sniffed out a backpack containing a bag of white powder that reportedly belonged to one of the center’s employees.

“Everything goes through my mind. Literally everything, every emotion you can think of,” Hopson recounted of the discovery, her voice breaking. “It’s still not real to me. Cocaine – that’s just absurd.”

The employee now faces criminal charges, according to the report. KinderCare itself also faces legal action on the premise of negligence.

B’Ivory LaMarr, an attorney representing the family, told “Fox & Friends First” Thursday that the daycare has had other issues in the past.

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“This is a facility that has had over 23 violations over the last couple of years, many of which include supervision of children specifically. There are allegations of kids being tossed by employees, that are substantiated by violations with the state already. I think [this] clearly premises liability [with] the exposure to cocaine. You also have assault and battery, so there’s a host of different claims that we intend to make. Intentional infliction of emotional distress. The list goes on,” he said.

“This is one of the most outrageous acts. I deal with a lot of very high profile, controversial cases, but this is one which really caused me to pause because [it’s] just so unbelievable.”

In response to the allegations, KinderCare’s senior public relations manager provided the following statement to Fox News: “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the children in our care. We work hard to create healthy spaces for work, play and learning. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco are prohibited in our centers and programs.”

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The statement continued, “In addition, all of our employees and staff must complete a state and federal background check as a condition of hiring. The teacher involved is no longer a KinderCare employee.”

Staples questioned where the drug test was in response to the statement, noting that the center failed to mention random drug screenings or a drug test prior to employment.

The parents are now pushing for cameras in every daycare across the nation.




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