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YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE. Kid kicked out of Summerlin preschool after being bitten repeatedly

Posted at 10:01 PM, Mar 31, 2017
A mother is speaking out after her two children were removed from a private school in Summerlin when she raised concerns about her son being bitten.
 
Jessica Caruso says she received a letter from the school Tuesday notifying her of the decision.
 
She says it came just a day after she called a supervisor, because she didn’t feel enough was being done to keep her 18-month-old son from being bitten at Merryhill Preschool, located near Lake Mead Boulevard and Anasazi Drive in Summerlin.
 
"We all know that children bite. I understand that is a fact of childhood, but nine times is unacceptable," Caruso said.
 
The mother of two said she wasn’t concerned by the first couple of bites, but reached out to the school’s leadership after she says the number started approaching double digits.
 
"I went to pick up my son and he had two bites in one day," Caruso said those were the eighth and ninth bites on her son in the past three months or so.
 
She wanted something to done to stop it.
 
After several calls she says she was told the school would perform an observation.
 
"They called me the next day and told me my children were dismissed," Caruso said.
 
Caruso was given a letter signed by the principal that reads in part: “After consultation with my management team, it has been decided that it is in the best interest of the school to part ways with your family in order to prevent any further assertions that your son is at risk in our school.”
 
Dismissing the family also means Caruso’s daughter is also out.
 
Caruso says she can’t understand why her children are being kicked out, when her son was the one being bitten repeatedly.
 
"My child was the one that was bit nine times. So clearly he is the victim in the classroom," Caruso said.
"He is the one that is targeted."
 
13 Action News also reached out to the Merryhill School and received a written response.
 
“Although biting among toddlers is a common behavior, we recognize that it can be very upsetting. Unfortunately, all preschools and child care centers experience biting incidents on a regular basis, and so we follow well-established best practices to discourage the behavior in an age-appropriate manner.  These practices include close supervision by teachers, immediate separation and redirection of the toddlers involved, and encouraging both children to better understand and constructively express their emotions.  In this particular case, we had numerous conversations with the parents, and we regret that they were not satisfied with our sincere and diligent attempts to address this common but distressing toddler behavior.”
 
Caruso said she is not satisfied with the situation, but takes comfort in knowing her children are now safe.
 
She is now in the process of finding a new school for both children.
 
When asked if she would return to Merryhill if offered the chance, Caruso said she would want some changes made before she would consider it.