A mother on her way to pick up her child from daycare, received a call letting her know that a daycare owner had strapped the child down to his sleeping mat with duct-tape during nap time. If you were the one, how would you feel?
This is a real story, and the mother in question and her husband, Kristi and Brad Galbraith have sued the daycare - Heart2Heart in Parker County, Texas, for being negligent in properly carrying out responsibilities and supervising employees, resulting in injury and pain to their 21/2-year-old son.
The allegations surfaced June 17 after an employee, Hannah Tidwell, called Kristi Galbraith advising her that her son and another boy had been forcefully secured by duct tape to their napping mats by one of the facility’s owners, Pamela Decker.
Kristi Galbraith said in a phone interview Tuesday;
“When she contacted me, the first thing she said was, ‘I wanted you to know we called CPS today.’ Of course, I felt sick to my stomach, probably wailed out loud in the car. I asked her ‘What do you mean? What happened?’ Then she proceeded to tell me what actually happened to our son that day.”
Tidwell then sent Kristi Galbraith three photographs that she’d snapped of the boy, secured to the mat with the thick, silver tape.
She told the Galbraiths that when she confronted Decker about her actions, Decker responded:
“Do not say anything about this. I know this [is] illegal but felt it was necessary.”
The allegations sparked investigations by the state’s Child Care Licensing and Willow Park police. Both investigations remained open as of Tuesday, officials said. Willow Police Chief Brad Johnson says;
“We have interviewed all the parents involved. We have begun interviewing some of the employees and former employees. We hope to wrap this up in the next couple of weeks and present it to the district attorney’s office. It probably will be presented to the grand jury without any arrest on our end. That’s the plan as it stands today.”
The Heart2Heart is still operating.
The lawsuit names Heart2Heart, its management company, Decker, and Decker’s daughter, Ashlea J. Pena, who is co-owner of the facility. The suit seeks between $200,000 and $1 million in monetary relief.