Centerpointe Community Church issued the following media statement Monday afternoon after Pleasanton Patch published a story about state violations involving a child care worker who tied up a child for refusing to nap:
Last Monday, March 4, we were notified of a violation of a two-year-old child’s personal rights committed by a former teacher. On Friday, March 1, two teachers, one of whom is the parent of the child involved, attended a social gathering with former employees. During this gathering, a former teacher who left our employment earlier this year volunteered that during a naptime (on an unknown date in the past) she told the child that if the child did not take a nap the teacher was going to tape up her hands and feet. The child refused the nap and the teacher taped up the child’s ankles and wrists. The masking tape was taken off and no allegation of any physical harm has been made. This teacher further indicated she took a photo of the child and during this social gathering, showed it to those in attendance.
We do not know when this photo was taken. “We are appalled and shocked that such an incident, if proven to be true, took place. 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,” said Pastor Mike Barris.
The parent reported the incident to the Pleasanton Police Department and investigators have interviewed our staff. We are cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation and the legal outcome is unknown. Upon our receipt and confirmation of this information, we notified Community Care Licensing, which issued a Class A violation on Thursday. We have been notifying parents as required by the licensing agency. We want to be very clear that no currently employed staff were involved in this incident. The former preschool director had no knowledge of this event until we informed him after we were notified.
There have been four prior Class A violations, two involved improper storage of bleach and two involved supervision of children in two classrooms. Corrective action was taken in each instance and staff received additional training.
In light of the current situation, the elders after much prayerful consideration, have taken the following actions:
- We have sent a detailed letter to all of the preschool parents.
- We prepared this media statement.
- We have scheduled a parents-only meeting Tuesday night to answer questions. ·
We have ordered the temporary suspension of preschool operations for a five-day period starting Friday for intensive staff training, review of procedures and a thorough top to bottom review of the program.
We will use our resources as well as outside experts to analyze our program and procedures so we return to the excellent program and quality care of children that Centerpointe Christian Preschool has become known for.
Until last October, Centerpointe had never received a notice of Class A violation from the licensing agency in its five years of operation on the current campus. It has built a reputation for delivering an excellent program for children.
Before opening at Centerpointe, the church operated a co-op preschool for decades on its Mirador site. The recent incidents and violations are unprecedented for Centerpointe, thus the elders decided to take the bold corrective action.
The statement to the congregation and parents read: “… we will not continue to operate a preschool that is less than God’s best for the children we serve. While the staff involved in these situations is no longer employed here, there is more work to be done to create a new educational environment that is safe, loving, and enriching for your children. “We know we have a great team of committed teachers who are serving your children with everything they have. We know in our hearts that the vision, values and commitment to excellence in early childhood education that we stand for are good and right. We continue to have a passionate desire to deliver to you, the parents and children we serve, the kind of preschool experience that reflects God’s love and our committed care for your special, one-of-a-kind children.”
Regular preschool operations will resume on March 20.
Facts & background
Centerpointe Christian Preschool is a ministry of Centerpointe Presbyterian Church. The current full-service preschool was founded in 2008 when the church moved to the current site at 3410 Cornerstone Court, Pleasanton.
The church previously had operated a co-op preschool for more than 30 years. It is licensed for 120 preschool students and 30 school-aged students. It serves about 140 families. Centerpointe Church was the first protestant church in Pleasanton, founded in 1876.
It met in the white church at the corner of Neal Street and Second Street until 1978 when it moved to a campus on Mirador Drive. It moved to the current campus in 2008. About 250 families are active in the church.
Centerpointe currently is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA. A board of 14 elders elected by the congregation serves as the spiritual overseers and board of directors. The pastor is the moderator of the session and has a vote.
Class A Violations
- Oct. 19, 2012 two violations in the same room. Teacher left diluted bleach spray within reach of children and was briefly out of the room hanging art projects outside to dry. Response: Staff was retrained in procedures.
- Jan. 24, 2013 Bleach and detergent was on the floor in the laundry room/office.
- Jan. 24, 2013 Improper supervision in school-aged program when 17-year-old was in supervisory role over children.
- March 7, 2013 Allegations that a former teacher taped a two-year-old girl’ ankles and wrists were substantiated by licensing. No physical or emotional harm to the child has been reported by the child’s mother, a teacher at Centerpointe at the time. It is unknown when the violation took place. The teacher responsible had resigned previously from the preschool staff before Centerpointe learned of the incident on March 4.
We self-reported all of the incidents with the exception of the Oct. 19 incident, which (was discovered) place during the unannounced annual site visit.
After each incident as specified in the reports, corrective action including staff receiving additional training was taken.