A daycare worker is a national hero this week after she bravely put herself in danger to protect the children in her care.
Francis Joseph Jackson, the estranged father of three children, allegedly showed up unannounced with an unidentified woman at Ronan daycare center in Helena, MT on October 7. His goal? To take his kids. But Jackson had been stripped of custody and had been ordered to stay away from his children, all of which are under the age of 4. Child Protective Services determined Jackson was a potential threat to his children and Martha McClure, owner of Ronan daycare, was willing to do anything necessary to protect them. Especially because, according to McClure, Jackson smelled like alcohol and appeared intoxicated.
After McClure refused to let Jackson take the kids, he threatened to assault her right in front of the children, so she locked him out of the daycare center. He became violent, reportedly throwing things at the window, causing McClure to go back outside. After this, a physical altercation ensued. Jackson and McClure were mid-fight when another woman reportedly hit McClure in the face with a shovel. Jackson then hit McClure in the face again, knocking her to the ground. Eventually, the suspects fled the scene and Jackson has since been arrested for aggravated assault and burglary.
In the aftermath of the alleged attack, McClure has undergone surgery for her injuries and is in the recovery process. Her sister-in-law, Marlene Heath, says McClure is still suffering from double vision.
What could have possibly driven a daycare worker to put herself in harm’s way to protect those kids? A whole lot of love:
“I protect these children as if they’re my own because when they hit the door in the morning at 6:30 they are mine until their mothers come for them,” she told KTMF-TV. “I’m responsible for their lives, their safety.”
And to that we say, thank you, Martha — and all care workers like you. There is no finer service than giving tired, working parents a tiny bit of peace of mind. Every parent knows the heartbreak and anxiety of trusting someone else to care for your baby. We worry that they are in good hands, that their care givers will be vigilant, and nurturing, and show them the level of care we would.
And now, the parents who send their kids to Ronan daycare certainly know for sure. Way to go Martha McClure! Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery. You have the gratitude and respect of parents everywhere.More On