Blair Daycare Shutdown, Providers Facing Charges
Blair, NE - Kathy Matzen has run an in-home day care for 12 years. The state closed it down last week when scratch marks appeared on one of the children she cared for. Matzen says she and her son went to jail and now she's a victim.
According to Matzen, the complaints came in from a school the boy attended. "Everyday, Jason went into school, they prodded him, they asked him questions like what he did and where he slept.," Matzen says it was none of the schools business.
The four year old named Jason temporarily lived at her home while his legal guardian was out of town. She says his school became nosy and told Jason's grandmother to make a change. According to Matzen, when things didn't change, the school called authorities.
Matzen says like any guardian she scolded Jason when he was in trouble. She says she never meant to hurt him. "Oh I love him, I've got pictures of him, I've got pictures of all my kids," says Matzen.
The state says otherwise. Aaron Barrow with Blair Police Department says a concerned citizen called in worried about the well fare of the child, "We received a lot of reports from a lot of different sources about a lot of different situations."
According to an affidavit from the Washington County Attorney, Matzen is charged with two counts of felony child abuse. Her son Travis is charged with one misdemeanor. The affidavit states Kathy Matzen struck the boy with a knife and made him sleep on a mattress without sheets or blankets. Travis shaved the boys head without guardian consent. The Matzens say they were trying to get rid of a lice problem. "I can't imagine what I've done wrong," says Kathy.
According to the Martzens, Kathy's daycare is not the first in-home daycare in Blair to close recently. She feels in-home day cares are being targeted. The boy's grandmother agrees and even bailed out the babysitter. She wouldn't go on camera, on the advice of her attorney. Blair police say the judicial system will find the truth.