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Photo Surfaces of Child Taped to Daycare Bed, Parents Outraged

Updated: Friday, June 20 2014, 10:33 AM CDT

The Department of Family and Protective Services is investigating a North Texas daycare after a photo was sent to parents, showing a child taped to a bed.

A now-former worker at the Heart2Heart Montessori Academy in Parker County took the picture this week. It shows a child napping, with two strips of duct tape over his blanket; one near his feet, the other near his shoulders.

Lorrie Almquist says the academy's co-owner Pam Decker called her Wednesday, saying she had done something similar to Almquist's three-year-old son that same day. “I honestly was in such shock, I had no words to say to her," Almquist said. “I was immediately angry. Upset.” Lorrie Almquist pulled her son out of school. "She was very apologetic, and told me it was something that probably shouldn't have been done," Almquist said.  

Academy director Ashlea Pena sent an email to parents after the incident. In it, she wrote, "Mrs. Decker is devastated by a very foolish decision she made." Pena goes on to say the child in the photo was "in no way harmed or caused any distress."

Child Protective Services says the academy quickly self-reported the incident. The agency is investigating it as prohibited punishment. It says a routine inspection in April found zero deficiencies, which, a spokesperson said is uncommon for daycares.

A meeting was held Thursday at the academy with parents. Few commented afterwards. One mother said she's concerned, and that the meeting went well. She's leaving her child enrolled at this time. The owner who allegedly taped the children is no longer allowed at the school.

The inspection report shows the state is also investigating complaints of water being withheld, and children placed in empty rooms. Heart2Heart Academy released a statement saying, "The school has an exemplary performance history, and will work with childcare licensing authorities."

Photo Surfaces of Child Taped to Daycare Bed, Parents Outraged


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