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D.A.: No charges to be filed against preschool teacher who tied up 2-year-old

'We conducted a thorough review of the evidence'

The teacher who taped a toddler at Centerpointe Christian Preschool in Pleasanton will not face criminal charges, a spokeswoman for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office said today.

"We conducted a thorough review of the evidence presented and declined to file charges," said D.A.'s Office spokeswoman Teresa Drenick. "We don't go into further details."

Angela Calcagno, a former employee at the school, showed a photo on her cell phone to the mother of the 2-year-old at a social gathering the two attended in early March.

That led to a citation against the preschool from the state Department of Social Services and an investigation by the Pleasanton Police Department, which sent the evidence surrounding the case to the D.A.'s office for review.

According to a DSS report, filed March 7, "(a) staff member who is no longer employed at the center told the child that if she did not take a nap, that the staff member was going to tie her up. The child continued to refuse a nap, and the staff member tied up the child's ankles with masking tape."

The photo was shared with both current and past staff members from Centerpointe -- including the girl's mother -- the DSS report stated.

"It was confirmed that the photograph showed the girl with her ankles and wrists tied with masking tape while sitting on her cot at the facility."

A police report was filed March 4, and Centerpointe reported the incident to DSS on March 5.

Although there will not be a criminal prosecution, Calcagno and Centerpointe have been named in a lawsuit filed by the girl's parents.

A civil case was filed in Martinez on March 21 alleging that Angela Calcagno was unlicensed and unlawfully employed by the school.

The lawsuit claims the girl was bound because Calcagno viewed nap time was her personal time, "and punished and restrained any non-napping child to ensure this."

According to the lawsuit, the child's parents are seeking psychiatric intervention after her behavior changed following the incident.

The girl's behavior, the lawsuit says, "included an inability to sleep more than a few hours consecutively before waking up in a panic." She also began "exhibiting signs of stress," and became "inexplicably frightened and inconsolable."

The lawsuit also says Calcagno "tormented" the girl's mother at a social event in March, showing off a picture of the restrained girl and "bragging that she was the one who tied up the toddler."

The lawsuit claims false imprisonment, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence against the child by Calcagno. It claims Centerpointe is liable because it hired her.

The allegations made in the lawsuit are not facts, just claims. Any possible fines will be determined by a judge or jury, should it go to trial. The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of compensation and punitive damages, and asks for a jury trial.

Calcagno, who quit Centerpointe Christian Preschool in February, was ordered by the state not to have any contact with clients or to be "physically present" at the school.

She has since filed an appeal of the DSS order.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on May 1, 2013 at 7:12 am

Spare the rod, er tape, and spoil the child. Why am I not surprised this happened at a Christian pre-school? Very holy behavior.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas
a resident of Blackhawk
on May 1, 2013 at 7:42 am

Bill - it has nothing to do with it being a Christian preschool. Prosecutors don't bring a case unless they feel confident they can win it. I am glad they are not wasting my tax dollars!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on May 1, 2013 at 10:05 am

Guess it's now legal to tie kids up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on May 1, 2013 at 10:30 am

Well Douglas...you are a sick individual...I wonder if it was your child being taped up how you would react. Maybe you tape up your own children if they misbehave

The teacher is a sicko and if it ever happened to my children or my grand children...beware teacher...

Julia Pardini from Alamo


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tracy
a resident of San Ramon
on May 1, 2013 at 10:48 am

I find it odd that the teacher would 1) keep that photo on her cell phone, and 2) lack insight regarding how inappropriate that act was to the point that she would show it to the mother. I guess it is lucky that she didn't try to hide it, but given her lack of judgment and abusive behaviors, I hope her name is "out there" enough that she won't get another job working with children.

Without a conviction, nothing is going to come up on a background check.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas
a resident of Blackhawk
on May 1, 2013 at 11:32 am

Really, Julia? You want your tax dollars wasted on a case that prosecutors feel they can't win? The DA didn't say it wasn't wrong. It is just a matter of what the DA can prove. Maybe you need to go sit through a trial, no better yet, be on a jury and understand how the legal system works...

BTW, the legal system frowns upon citizens taking the law into their own hands, and you would end up in jail if you did anything. In addition, your post would make it premeditated!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on May 1, 2013 at 9:48 pm

@Douglas
You know it is all about a spirited debate, my post should not be taken literally. Apologies, I usually speak/type before I think and formulate a coherent response. Hence I find myself posting once and then disappearing from the thread asI have made a fool of myself.

Thanks for listening

Julia Pardini from Alamo


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