A former teacher at a Pleasanton preschool is being investigated for allegedly binding a 2-year-old girl’s ankles and wrists after she refused to go to sleep during naptime, school officials said. The incident allegedly occurred at Centerpointe Christian Preschool at 3410 Cornerstone Court in Pleasanton on an unknown date. School officials said that when the child refused to nap, the teacher taped up the girl’s ankles and wrists, and then took a photo. During a March 1 social gathering attended by current and former teachers, the teacher in question — identified by the state Department of Social Services as Angela Calcagno — showed the photo to the other teachers, one of whom was the little girl’s mother, according to the school. Calcagno, who hadrecently resigned from the school, told her former colleagues that she had warned the girl that she would tie her up during naptime if she didn’t sleep, school officials said.
The incident was reported to Pleasanton police by the child’s parent on March 4, the Monday after the social gathering. The Police Department sent investigators to the school to interview staff. Pleasanton police did not immediately return calls for comment today. School leaders said they notified the California Community Care Licensing Division, part of the state Department of Social Services, which issued a “Class A” violation against the school last Thursday. According to the state’s investigation report, Calcagno used masking tape to bind the girl. The report states that the allegations were substantiated and that the girl’s rights were violated. The department has since issued an order of exclusion against Calcagno, meaning that Calcagno cannot be on preschool grounds or have contact with the students. She is also barred from being hired by any other state-licensed child care facility in California. The school has sent a letter to parents notifying them of the incident, school officials said.
The church community affiliated with the preschool has taken additional actions, preschool spokesman Tim Hunt said. A meeting is scheduled for tonight to respond to parents’ questions and concerns. Additionally, the preschool will be temporarily shut down for five days starting Friday for what Hunt said will be “intensive staff training, review of procedures and a thorough top-to-bottom review of the program.” Officials said operations will resume on March 20. The preschool was founded in 2008 when the church moved to its location at Cornerstone Court. The Centerpointe Presbyterian Church previously operated a co-op preschool for more than 30 years at a different location, school officials said. In a staff biography that no longer appears on the Centerpointe website, Calcagno said she had been working at the preschool since June 2008.
When the bio was written, she said she was attending California State University East Bay and working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She said she wanted to continue her education with a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. Until last October, the school had never had a “Class A” violation at its Cornerstone Court campus, Hunt said. Since then, its violations have included incidents on Oct. 19 and Jan. 24 in which bleach was left within the reach of children. On that same day in January, there was a violation because children were left in the care of a 17-year-old, according to the school. In each of the incidents, corrective action was taken and staff received additional training, school officials said.
In response to the recent naptime incident, church Pastor Mike Barris released a statement on Monday evening. “We are appalled and shocked that such an incident, if proven to be true, took place,” Barris said. “Every human person made in the image of God, all of the children in our care, deserve the highest degree of respect and protection from any action that dehumanizes them.”
Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.
Comment Advisement We welcome your thoughts, but for the sake of all readers, please refrain from the use of obscenities, personal attacks or racial slurs. All comments are subject to our terms of service and may be removed. Repeat offenders may lose commenting privileges.