http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2013/05/03/centerpointe-teacher-wont-face-charges


Pleasanton Weekly

News - May 3, 2013

Centerpointe teacher won't face charges

'We conducted a thorough review of the evidence'

by Glenn Wohltmann

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

"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 civil lawsuit filed by the girl's parents.

The 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.

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