A Texas day care center duct taped two children to their nap mats and withheld water from children to limit diaper changes, the Dallas Morning News reported, citing a state investigation.
The two-month inquiry into accusations against The Ruyle’s Heart2Heart Montessori Academy in Willow Park didn't find that children were locked in dark spaces as punishment, a claim by some parents, the Morning News noted.
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The school first came under fire in June, when photos of a boy wrapped in a blanket and taped to his nap mat surfaced. His parents, Kristi and Brad Galbraith, filed a lawsuit against the facility.
Earlier this week, the state child care licensing agency sent the facility a report listing six violations, said Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
The day care remains open, and licensing officials went there during the investigation to make sure its questionable practices did not continue. Gonzales said the facility must reapply for a permit to continue operating.
Heart2Heart could not immediately be reached for comment but issued a statement in June when the photos first made headlines.
“The staff and I have the best interest of the children and parents as our highest priority,” Ashlea Pena, the school’s director and co-owner, said in a written statement. “The school has an exemplary performance history, and will work with child-care licensing authorities and cooperate fully with any investigation.”
The Montessori school removed one of its directors and plans to modify its governing body, the Morning News added, citing what the school reportedly told the agency. Gonzales said the agency will closely monitor the school for six months to ensure compliance, the paper noted.
Jeff Rasansky, the Galbraiths’ attorney, told the Morning News he and his clients are unhappy with the state’s response to the findings.
“It sends a message to day care centers that you can get away with it once, maybe twice, if you say you won’t do it again,” Rasansky said to the paper.
Here's a news clip from KXAS-TV in Dallas-Ft. Worth via YouTube that precedes the closure of the state's investigation: