A Texas mother was shocked to discover that her three-year-old son was duct taped to a mat during nap time by his daycare teacher. Now, the daycare center is under investigation.
According to reports, Heart2Heart Montessori Academy in Willow Park, Texas is under investigation after it was discovered that a daycare teacher taped two students, including Lorrie Almquist’s three-year-old son, to mats during nap time.
Almquist says she received a call on Wednesday informing her that her son and another boy had been duct taped to the mat. The call was made by Pam Decker, a co-owner of the school, who admitted to duct taping Almquist’s son as well as the other boy seen taped to a mat in a photo that circulated the day before.
“I felt violated and I was irate,” said Almquist to ABC News. “I couldn’t find any words to say to her. I was so hurt and saddened to think that my child had to go through that.”
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Following the incident, concerned parents met with school director Ashlea Pena to discuss the photo and the incident, and in the meeting, she defended the school. Pena said that the situation had been, “extremely exaggerated by a very upset parent” and that “the child involved was in no way harmed or caused any distress, in fact within 5 minutes he was sound asleep with his arms tucked under his chin. And woke up smiling.”
Still, Almquist and the photographed boy’s parent were outraged by Decker’s actions, so they reported the incident to the Willow Park Police Department and even called Child Protective Services.
“I think that’s ridiculous,” said Almquist of Pena’s reasoning. “Ashlea Pena has a daughter that’s less than a year old and I know she would feel the same way if this happened to her daughter.”
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Decker is reportedly no longer allowed at the school, and the investigation is ongoing. Reports say that authorities are also investigating claims that the school withholds water from students and places them in empty rooms.