When Alyssa Salgado picked up her daughter at a Washington state daycare on Feb. 1, she was shocked to realize her 2-year-old’s eyebrows had allegedly been waxed.
“NOTHING LIKE THIS SHOULD EVER HAPPEN AND THEY HAD NO RIGHT TO TOUCH MY DAUGHTER AT ALL,” Salgado, 19, wrote the next day in a Facebook post. The post included before and after photos of her daughter and has since attracted national attention, having been shared nearly 25,000 times.
“I birthed my daughter and love every little thing about her and these so called women took it upon themselves to correct the way my daughter should look,” the post added.
The center is run by the Boys and Girls Club on the Columbia Basin College (CBC) campus in Pasco, and the college says it is investigating the complaint along with the Washington State Department of Early Learning. PEOPLE’s calls for comment to the CBC and to the Boys and Girls Club have not been returned.
Salgado recently spoke to PEOPLE exclusively about her ordeal. The following is an abridged version of the interview.
“I’m still waiting for answers from the Boys and Girls Club. should know better. They’ve been watching these same kids since they were born and it shouldn’t cross their minds to alter a child’s looks or anything like that. They shouldn’t be thinking, ‘Oh, hey, let’s do this. Let’s see how fun this is.’ No, it isn’t.
“I want them to take responsibility for what they did. What happened is permanent in my mind and in her mind because she is so little.
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“I never used to have a problem with them until that day happened. But that day, right when I walked in, I saw my daughter and she kind of had tears in her eyes even though she was dancing. Then I saw the mark in between her eyebrows and I thought it was just a scratch. When we got home, I called her over. Her skin looked so red. I saw it and I was mad.
“I immediately started texting . She said, ‘No, it could have been the mat. It’s the mat’s fault.’ I was like, ‘Are you serious? Don’t you think it would be everywhere and not just in a particular spot if it were the mat?
“The next morning, I took my daughter in there to see the director. I was trying to keep calm. There were other children there so I was trying my best to hold it together.
“She started giggling and smirking when she saw me. As a parent you are going to get P.O’d. My daughter didn’t want to get near her. I wanted her to see my daughter. I was like — ‘Go to her, Mama. Go to her.’ But my daughter didn’t want to go.
“So I said to the director, ‘I know what it feels like and looks like when you get your eyebrows waxed.’ She chuckled and said, ‘That’s not from wax. You’re crazy.’
“I got mad. I said, ‘For you to sit here and tell me I’m a liar? I am not, and I will be damned if somebody is going to tell me that I’m a liar. First of all, I’m a mom and I know when there is something wrong with my daughter. If I weren’t a good mom I wouldn’t know every single detail about my child. When something is off, I know.’
“She was like, ‘Well, I trust my staff.’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t. You need to take better responsibility for your staff.’
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“I just want justice for my daughter. I want the person who did this to apologize to my daughter for what they did to her. I don’t want this to happen again to her or to anybody else.
“They had no right to do that. They had no right to change my daughter. She looked beautiful the way she was. It was painful for her.
“A lot of other moms are coming out and tell me something happened at their daycare and the daycare tried to keep them quiet.
“No way. I’m going to advocate for my daughter. I’m going to be her voice and I’m going to be loud.”