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Parents outraged after kids say Blue Springs daycare put them in ‘the dark room’

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Some parents at one metro preschool are outraged. They've filed a complaint with Missouri Child Protective Services after they say their kids were put in a closet as punishment.

FOX4's Sean McDowell spoke to one parent who said her child was wronged.

One parent FOX4 News spoke with said her five-year-old son isn't the only one. She said as many as 20 parents have complained to daycare leaders at Timothy Lutheran Church about "the dark room."

We are calling this parent "Mary," since she asked us to conceal her identity.

Mary said her son was punished by being sent to this small storage area for an extended period of time, where he was kept without ventilation or daylight.

"I don't know who knew and how long it was going on," Mary explained.

Mary is still furious. She said another parent filed a complaint with Missouri Child Protective Services. Blue Springs police confirmed they're investigating it as a potential case of child abuse.

"He's well-behaved. He's a rambunctious boy, don't get me wrong," Mary said.

And he and his younger sibling are at another daycare now. Mary said her kid isn't perfect, but he shouldn't have been sent to what he calls "the dark room."

"We pay them a great deal of money to keep our children safe. It's cruel because it secludes them from everyone. There's no windows in this room. There's no air ventilation in that room from what I can see," Mary said.

FOX4 spoke with Rich Steensma, the lead pastor at Timothy Lutheran church. He said the accusations are untrue, and that his church's daycare doesn't punish children in this manner, but he wouldn't elaborate.

Mary said she detected something was wrong while dropping her son off at school each morning -- and the little kid cried and screamed because he didn't want to go. She advises other parents to stick up for your children the way she did.

Missouri Child Protective Services couldn't speak directly with FOX 4 News about any possible complaints. The agency explained that all reports to their office are kept confidential.

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