Preschool parents still looking for answers about tied-up toddler

Centerpointe Christian Preschool in Pleasanton.
March 13, 2013 12:16:33 AM PDT
Parents at an East Bay preschool are outraged after discovering a former teacher, identified as Angela Calcagno, tied up a 2-year-old girl with masking tape after the girl refused to take a nap. Much to the parents' dismay, Calcagno even took a picture of the incident.

Some parents have already pulled their children out of the school.

Calcagno resigned before the allegation came to light, but it is still a cause for concern. Church officials met with parents Tuesday night. Some left the meeting clearly upset. Police say what happened may not be a crime.

Pastor Mike Barris of the Centerpointe Christian Preschool says he and his staff are doing everything possible to deal with an allegation.

"I have talked with the family and they are devastated, and any family would be devastated and we are caring for them in the best way possible," he said.

According to a complaint investigated by the California Department of Social Services, the child continued to refuse the nap and the staff member tied up the child's ankles and wrists with masking tape. A photograph was taken by the staff member who tied the child up.

The incident happened months ago but only recently came to light when Calcagno showed the cell phone photo to other staff members, including the child's mother, at a social gathering.

"From everything we've found, this looks like an isolated incident. There's nothing, no evidence or people we've talked to that lead us to believe that there's anything else going on besides this one allegation," said Sgt. Kurt Schlehuber of the Pleasanton Police Department.

In the meantime, many parents are standing by the school.

"And I want to support the school... And we think about as parents, what we can do to help the school to resolve the trouble, the issue and rebuild the school," said parent Sherry Yang.

Several other parents contacted ABC7 News to say the taping incident is being blown out of proportion. They claim those who've seen the photo say there was very little tape used and it was meant to be a joke.

"We have a great staff team of people who are greatly committed to the care of children and we've never had any incident like this in our ministry here since 2008," said Barris.

There are two separate investigations going on related to this incident. Police are looking to see whether a crime like child abuse has been committed, while the state has already decided that Calcagno should be barred from working at another licensed daycare facility for the time being.


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