Parents of children at the Heart2Heart Montessori Academy are shocked by a photograph circulating that shows a child duct taped to his napping mat — one piece over his feet, and the other next his shoulders. The photograph, snapped by a now-former worker at the Willow Park school out of concern for the children, has led to some parents pulling their children from Heart2Heart.
The child in the picture and others were taped by academy co-owner Pam Decker. Heart2Heart, of course, is standing up for the disgraced co-owner of the business. In a statement released to KHOU, director Ashley Pena wrote, “Mrs. Decker is devastated by a very foolish decision she made,” adding that the duct-taped child in the photo was “in no way harmed or caused any distress.”
Child Protective Services is investigating a complaint of prohibited punishment.
Parent Lorrie Almquist said that Decker called her Wednesday and admitted she did something similar to Almquist’s son the same day. “I was honestly in such shock, I had no words to say to her,” Almquist said. “I was immediately angry. Upset.” She immediately pulled her son from the school.
“She was very apologetic, and told me it was something that probably shouldn’t have been done,” Almquist said.
The owner who did this is no longer allowed at the school, but there may be more serious issues. The state is reportedly investigating further complaints of water being withheld and children being placed in empty rooms unsupervised.
On Thursday, Heart2Heart Academy told KHOU, “The school has an exemplary performance history, and will work with childcare licensing authorities.”
Watch a report on this academy’s misdeeds, below: