Day Care Restrained Children With Duct Tape: Mother

Parker County school under investigation

A Texas day care owner used duct tape to hold down children while they were supposed to be napping, the mother of one of the children in Parker County said.

A state investigation of Heart 2 Heart Montessori Academy in Willow Park, just west of Fort Worth, is currently underway.

Lorrie Almquist, of Cresson, said the owner called her Wednesday to report an incident that happened on Tuesday.

Almquist said the woman “proceeded to tell me that my son had not been napping and another little boy had not been napping and so she decided to duct tape them to his nap mat."

The mother said she was shocked – especially when she said she saw pictures of the duct tape purportedly taken by a day care staffer who quit.

The pictures, obtained by NBC 5, showed what appears to be a child in a blanket with duct tape around his legs and chest.

"It's hurtful, it's shocking, you never expect something like this to happen to you,” Almquist said.

Ashlea Pena, the school's director and co-owner, issued a statement, which did not directly address the duct tape issue.

"The staff and I have the best interest of the children and parents as our highest priority,” the statement said. “The school has an exemplary performance history, and will work with childcare licensing authorities and cooperate fully with any investigation."

An inspector from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Child Care Licensing Division was at the school Thursday.

The day care’s last inspection was in April and no violations were found, said department spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales.

Almquist, who said she immediately withdrew her son from the school, reported what happened to the Willow Park Police Department.

"I just don't want this to ever happen again,” Almquist said. “I don't think children should be treated this way."

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