Texas officials are investigating a local daycare after owners were caught taping children to nap cots and accused of denying children water to reduce the number of times their diapers were changed.
Photos of the reported child abuse were taken at Heart2Heart Montessori School when teacher Hannah Tidwell saw three children restrained with duct tape over their blankets during naptime, according to the Daily Mail.
Tidwell said she sent pictures of the restrained 2-year-old boy to his parents and then confronted daycare director Pamela Decker about the incident.
“Do not say anything about this. I know this (is) illegal but felt it was necessary,” Decker allegedly told Tidwell when they talked about the incident, according to the Star-Telegram.
The parents of the boy, Kristi and Brad Galbraith, are now suing Decker and the school for an amount between $200,000 and $1 million.
The Galbraiths took their son out of the daycare immediately after learning about the abuse.
“I feel like this should never happen to any child,” Kristi Galbraith told NBC Dallas/Fort Worth. “I was angry, I was shocked, I felt an extreme amount of guilt about how I could have chosen a place that would do this to my child.”
Tidwell said that the duct tape is not the only abuse children are experiencing at the daycare facility.
Kids are also being left unattended sometimes and denied water, she claimed.
According to the Galbraith lawsuit, Decker allegedly tried to “shrug off” the incident when she first was accused, but became “visibly shaken” after learning that there were pictures proving the abuse.
Decker contacted Torri Almquist, who had a son at the daycare, about the abuse before she talked to other parents about it.
Decker reportedly said that had done something "incredibly stupid and one of the dumbest things she had ever done" before describing her actions to Almquist.
“Decker apologized to Almquist and advised her that other parents ‘were freaking out’ and that the Dad of the other little boy had sent out a ‘big email,’” according to the lawsuit.
Decker admitted to the incident but said she thought it was not a big enough deal to file a lawsuit.
“(The child taped) was quiet. He never cried. He never complained. He was not in any anguish. … He was not harmed in any way, emotionally, physically, at all,' Decker reportedly said.
Child Protective Services is still looking into the incident.
Source: Daily Mail, Star Telegram, NBC