Target: John Specia, Commissioner, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Goal: Prosecute daycare owner who allegedly duct taped children to the floor
Heart2Heart Montessori Academy outside of Fort Worth has been responsible for the care of children 18 months to five years old. The Montessori Method cultivates education for these children with focused attention of teachers within small classrooms, inviting children to engage in learning activities of their choice. It is supposed to provide a calm atmosphere where the children can develop their own self-disciplined approach to learning. This method is also supposed to encourage children to enjoy learning and expand their horizons.
Unfortunately parents of children at Heart2Heart realized just the opposite was allegedly taking place at the facility they had trusted. The following account is based on the accusations in a lawsuit that has been filed. One of the teachers there, out of concern for the students, took photos of what she witnessed taking place. Co-owner Pamela Decker had been duct taping some children to their sleep mats during nap time, one strip across their legs and another strip across their shoulders. When confronted with this incident by the teacher, Decker admitted she knew this action was illegal but felt it was necessary to restrain the children. Even after admitting she knew this action was illegal, Ms. Decker used this form of discipline again.
In addition to forcibly restraining children during nap time, children were denied fluids during the day, in a supposed effort to cut down on diaper changes. Sometimes children were allowed only two drinks of water during the day, causing the children to guzzle fluids the moment they left the center. It is also believed that children were smacked on the head during diaper changes and at least one child was left without a diaper because he soiled himself.
Upon being confronted by parents, Decker shrugged off the incident as not happening and slammed the teacher that had told the parents as being hormonal. Only when she was confronted with the pictures did Decker start taking the accusation seriously. She admitted to the duct taping but insisted the children were not hurt during the process.
For some reason, this daycare remains open, although the operations are currently under another administrator. The center is under a six-month probation period under this new manager. Child Protective Services is investigating the incident with regard to the center, but they also need to look at Pamela Decker individually and prosecute accordingly.
Dear Mr. Specia,
As you are aware, child abuse, whether physical or mental, can have lasting consequences on a child and leave psychological scars that will never go away.
I am shocked and appalled by the actions of Pamela Decker, co-owner of Heart2Heart Montessori Academy in Willow Park, Texas. Duct taping children to sleep mats and the denial of water are absolutely unacceptable actions for anyone in the child care profession.
Under no circumstances should Ms. Decker be allowed to participate in any child care, ever. I ask that you fully investigate the case against Ms. Decker personally, and prosecute accordingly.
[Your Name Here]