A former Morgan Hill preschool teacher accused of dosing children’s cups with sleeping medication has pleaded no contest to attempted child endangerment charges, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Deborah Gratz, 59, of Hollister is scheduled to be sentenced on July 5 before Superior Court Judge Kenneth Shapero in the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill.
Gratz had been a teacher at the Kiddie Academy preschool at 15750 Monterey Road in Morgan Hill starting in 2007. She was the head teacher of toddlers aged 1 to 2 years until March 8, when she was fired after a fellow teacher reported seeing her placing sleeping pills into some of the children’s water sipping cups. The “sippy cups” were seized before the kids could use them and teachers told Morgan Hill police they found powdered residue inside five of the cups.
After an investigation, Morgan Hill police arrested Gratz on March 11. Prosecutors said Gratz later admitted to placing the over-the-counter sleep aid Sominex in the cups. “She said she had done it to make the children sleep longer their naptimes,” a Morgan Hill police officer reported, according to prosecutors.
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