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I am sorry to hear about your situation. In short, assuming that this was unreasonable under the circumstances (which it absolutely sounds like it was) this would be, in civil court, "assault and battery". You could absolutely sue the employee, and potentially the employer, for assault and batetery as "next friend" to your child.
Now that being said, what you could recover would be based entirely on "damages".
If he was not actually injured, or his injuries were minor, and assuming you could not properly quantify the emotional damages or pain and suffering damages, then your only damages would be "nominal" to show that you essentially won the case. Nominal damages are a small amount of damages ($1 or $10) to show that you won the case, but in reality there was not much that was won.
(it would cost more to sue than you would win)
Now if there are damages that can be proven, then a lawsuit might certainly be a course that you could take.
But to be honest, most of the time in situations such as this, this is where the cases will be determined to be not economically viable.
Would the center ask us to sign a confidentiality agreement, stating we won't discuss this situation with anyone? If they did, would we have any leverage to ask them to in turn discount tuition? 36,000 a year, fyi.
They'd be under no obligation to offer this to you, but if they want to keep it quiet, you could ask for something in return.
Is it likely they would ask us to do that?
It's possible certainly. That really depends on the daycare.
do we have any other options other than suing? Such as charges being filed against this person so they can't work in child care in the future and do this to another child?
Yes, you could certainly press charges against that individual, as well as seek a restraining order from coming into contact with your child.
The center has not told us who did it, because they want to investigate and interview other teachers first. Do they have the right to withold the name from us?
They don't have an absolute obligation to tell you, but you can report it to the police, and the police could find out.
ok. Thanks very much for your help!
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