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Rylan Hayes BHCDC

From: domainremoved <Shannon>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2015 20:25:39 -0700

To whom it may concern:

My name is Shannon Walker. The objective of this letter is to inform you of my experience with the Belle Haven Child Development Center and the staff of The City Of Menlo Park. I am reaching out to you at this time, as I have tried resolving this issue with several members of the staff; Natalie Bonham, Derek Scheweigart, Cherise Brandell and Starla Jerome-Robinson, to no avail. I filed complaints online and did not receive a response. I emailed the City Manager Alex McIntyre to divulge the occurrences at the center, I did not receive any support from him in regards to this matter, which is really disappointing.
        My son, Rylan Hayes attended BHCDC from October 2014 to April 2015. My experience with the center as a whole was frustrating and honestly unbelievable. Rylan was deemed as being "unsafe" and "aggressive" "a threat to the staff and other children in the program" by the Director Natalie Bonham. Rylan's behavior was no worse than any of the other children in the program. The only difference was the classroom he was in and the willingness of the staff to deal with and correct the behavior. He was sent to the office for long periods of time, on a daily basis which I made known I did not want to happen, as I was not paying for him to sit in an office. Furthermore how would he learn to conduct himself in a classroom, when he was always being shipped off to the office.
From the beginning I sensed something was not right with the staff and the classroom
(room #3) The staff was rude, avoided me and did not acknowledge Rylan and I upon entering the classroom in the morning. I brought this to Natalie's attention on several occasions, I even requested a classroom change a multitude of times. I had numerous meetings with Natalie, I even met with her supervisors; Derek Schweigart, Cherise Brandell and Starla Jerome-Robonson, which was a complete waste of time. I was talked down to, made to feel like my concerns regarding my son were unimportant. I was told by Cherise several times, if I was so unhappy maybe I should look elsewhere for childcare, instead of trying to figure out a solution to an obvious problem. Cherise and Starla continuously made excuses for the staffs behavior and placed the blame on Rylan and I. I could not help but to question what exactly I was paying for; rudeness, disrespect, avoidance?. Starla rudely answered "you're paying for childcare and that is what you're receiving, childcare". Starla's demeanor throughout the meeting was unprofessio
nal, speaking to me in a mocking, uninterested tone and continuously rolling her eyes. Cherise displayed similar behavior throughout the meeting. Cherise even went as far as referring to Rylan as begin special needs and the program could not accommodate such a child. I had enough of the blatant disrespect and had to excuse myself from the meeting.
        I honestly believe the reason I had so many problems with the program and was treated in the manner I was, is simply because I am African American.
Natalie let her personal feelings overpower her professional judgement. The staff of the Belle Haven Child Development Center and The City of Menlo Park failed at their professional duty to care for my son and to give him an equal opportunity to an education. I had to abruptly pull Rylan out of the program after he reported to me he was hit by a member of the staff on April 27th. His education and the progress he made to become acclimated to school was interrupted. I feel like my son was forced out of the program. No one should be treated in this manner, especially a child.
There is a lot more to this situation, this is the gist of it.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.

Shannon Walker

Contact information: Lynise83_at_(domainremoved)
Received on Mon Aug 17 2015 - 20:25:39 PDT

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