Texas Day Care Investigated for Duct Taping Children to Sleeping Mats

A Texas day care center is under investigation after admitting to duct taping children to their sleeping mats when they wouldn't sleep during nap time.

A photo, shown above, of a boy wrapped in a blanket and taped by his legs and chest to his sleeping mat, was taking by an employee at Heart2Heart Montessori Academy in Parker County. She circulated the photo among parents and quit her job shortly after.

Lorrie Almquist, mother of a 3-year-old boy who was also duct taped, received a call a day later from the day care's owner, Pam Decker. According to ABC News, Almquist said that she took full responsibility for the incident, and confirmed that her son had also been taped down:

"I felt violated and I was irate. I couldn't find any words to say to her. I was so hurt and saddened to think that my child had to go through that."

Almquist also told ABC that Decker had been complaining for weeks that her son was unable to sleep during nap time, and had requested that Almquist buy a weighted blanket to help keep him down. She and another parent contacted the Willow Park Police Department and Child Protective Services about the incident.

According to ABC News, Heart2Heart also reported the incident to authorities, but defended the actions in an email to parents:

...Heart2Heart's director, Ashlea Pena, said the children were not harmed and described Decker's actions as "thoughtless" and "foolish."

Pena, however, defended the school, claiming that the situation had been "extremely exaggerated by a very upset parent." She added that "the child involved was in no way harmed or caused any distress, in fact within 5 minutes he was sound asleep with his arms tucked under his chin. And woke up smiling."

Almquist, of course, thinks this defense is ridiculous:

"Ashlea Pena has a daughter that's less than a year old and I know she would feel the same way if this happened to her daughter."

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services' Child Licensing Division has launched an investigation, which could last up to 30 days.

[photo via ABC]