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California preschool teacher tied up two-year-old girl with masking tape because she wouldn't take her nap

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  • The incident, at Centerpointe Christian Preschool in Pleasanton, came to light when the unnamed teacher showed a photo she took of the bound toddler to colleagues at a social gathering
  • A state Department of Social Services investigation confirmed a personal rights violation occurred and have required the preschool shut down for a week to retrain staff
  • Pleasanton Police have launched a criminal investigation into the incident
  • Parents say the violation isn't the preschool's first

By Helen Pow

PUBLISHED: 08:48 EST, 12 March 2013 | UPDATED: 08:50 EST, 12 March 2013

A Californian preschool teacher is being investigated after she tied up a two-year-old girl with masking tape because she refused to take her nap.

Centerpointe Christian Preschool in Pleasanton learned of the incident last week after the unnamed teacher, who no longer works at the school, showed former colleagues a picture she took of the child with her ankles and wrists bound with masking tape.

When Centerpointe Presbyterian Church, which runs the school, saw the photo, they reported it to the state department of Social Services.

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Preschool: The incident happened at Centerpointe Christian Preschool in Pleasanton, picturted

Preschool: The incident happened at Centerpointe Christian Preschool in Pleasanton, pictured

According to their complaint, the teacher threatened to tie up the toddler if she didn't go to sleep and when the girl continued to refuse, she strapped masking tape around her wrists and ankles as she sat on her cot.

'The child did not go down and this person told the people there that she tied the child up with her wrists and her ankles with masking tape and then she showed them a photo of the child tied up,' church elder Tim Hunt told ABC News.

The department, which is responsible for licensing child care centers, said the complaint was filed on March 5 and the subsequent probe confirmed a personal rights violation occurred.

The girl, whose mother was a teacher at the school at the time of the incident and was at the social gathering where the photo surfaced, wasn't physically harmed.

Violation: The department, which is responsible for licensing child care centers, said the complaint was filed on March 5 and the subsequent probe confirmed a personal rights violation occurred

Violation: The department, which is responsible for licensing child care centers, said the complaint was filed on March 5 and the subsequent probe confirmed a personal rights violation occurred

Closing: The school with shut its doors for a week to retrain staff

Closing: The preschool, pictured, with shut its doors for a week to retrain staff

But Pleasanton Police have launched a criminal investigation and are interviewing staff members to see if others were involved.

The church said it was shocked to hear of the incident.

'No child deserves to be in anyway treated in such a way that they would be dehumanized in any way and this incident in our opinion does exactly that. So we're horrified by it. We reject it,' church pastor Mike Barris told ABC News.

But parents are less surprised, with some citing similar violations at the preschool in the past.

Jason B. commented on Pleasanton Patch's coverage of the incident claiming: 'There is far more to this story than meets the eye. This all started long before the recent scotch tape incident.'

Tape: The teacher allegedly strapped masking tape around the toddler's wrists and ankles as she sat on her cot (stock photo)

Tape: The teacher allegedly strapped masking tape around the toddler's wrists and ankles as she sat on her cot (stock photo)

He claims a former director of the preschool was reported to management after he allegedly made a 'lewd remark' about a three-year-old girl who was play-wrestling with a male student.

He also refers to a documented violation where the ex-director allegedly allowed a minor to watch an entire class of preschoolers for hours.

A former parent Jenny S. wrote a scathing review of the school on Yelp, claiming that when parents started asking questions about such violations, the church elders got upset and blamed them for stirring up trouble.

The other reviews on Yelp were mixed, with some saying they had only positive experiences at the school.

After the masking tape incident, the church is shutting down the kindergarten for about five days starting on Friday to retrain teachers and to review procedures. They have also sent a detailed letter to parents and scheduled a meeting with families.

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