Kiddie Academy in Morgan Hill held a meeting on Wednesday after a teacher was arrested for putting Sominex in the toddlers' drinks. Parents were not happy. Arturo Santiago reports.
Some parents are threatening to pull their children out - or already have - of a Morgan Hill daycare center where a former teacher was arrested after police say she poured a sleeping aid into the toddlers's sippy cups before nap time.
One mother, who went on camera but didn't want her name used, said she no longer will allow her 20-month-old daughter to attend Kiddie Academy Childcare Facility on Monterey Road.
She's also frustrated she didn't hear about the incident from the school, but rather from police Tuesday morning, five days after the teacher, Deborah Gratz, was arrested for allegedly putting Sominex in the drinks.
School administrators insist this was the first time they are aware of that this happened, and that they confiscated the drinks before children ever drank from the cups.
Morgan Hill Police Sgt. Troy Hoefling said that police are now investigating those claims. Gratz was arrested on child endangerment charges, but was released from jail, and ordered to return to court on March 26. She was not home on Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.
At a meeting Wednesday night, parents attended a meeting at Kiddie Academy, and many were very upset.
"Basically, they know they messed up by not calling the cops at first, and notifiying the parents," Maria Esparza said.
Since the incident happened on March 8, but wasn't reported until Monday, the cups weren't tested for drugs - frustration for both parents and police.
School administrators, who held the meeting for parents on Wednesday, referred back to an earlier statement they released this week, declining further public comment. On Tuesday, in a written statement, academy spokeswoman Rose Chin said that administrators spotted the laced drinks early in the morning on Friday, and none of the10 children in the class ended up drinking from the cups on that day.
School officials said they are cooperating with police, and that the "safety" of the children is Kiddie Academy's "top priority." The statement also said that school of 80 students - which won an award in 2011 - is cared for by "exceptionally qualified teachers."
The news comes a day after reports exploded about a teacher at a Pleasanton school accused of taping up a 2-year-old for refusing to take a nap.
Anyone who knows something about this, or if anyone had a child under the care of Gratz while at the Kiddie Academy, should contact Morgan Hill Police Department Detective Joe Burdick at 408.779.2101 or the anonymous tip line at 408.947.STOP(7867).