Granada Hills preschool teacher accused of abuse, taping children's mouths shut

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Monday, July 8, 2024
Teacher at SoCal preschool fired for allegedly abusing children
Parents at Granada Hills Montessori preschool say a teacher abused children. They were fired, but families say the school didn't act fast enough.

GRANADA HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Parents claim a teacher at a Granada Hills preschool abused children, including slapping them on the back and duct-taping their mouths shut. That teacher and two other staff members have been fired, but families say they do not believe the school acted quickly enough.

ABC7 spoke with five mothers who chose to remain anonymous and have already or will pull their children out of Granada Hills Montessori Preschool.

"I asked my son directly, 'Hey have you had your ears pulled,'" said one mother. "He kind of got a little bit quiet and was like 'I don't want to tell you because I've been a good boy'."

The 4-year-old victims were afraid to tell their own mothers what was allegedly happening in their classroom.

"She started to go into detail about the things that she's witnessed," said another mother. "She thinks that it's completely normal to have duct tape on their mouth."

The startling claims allege the teacher pulled the children's ears or hair and slapped them on the back as consequences for allegedly misbehaving or simply being chatty.

"He had told me, when people talk too much, that's why they get their mouths duct-taped," said another concerned mother.

Granada Hills Montessori responded to the allegations in a statement that read, in part:

"On July 3rd, administration was made aware that a teacher allegedly took nontraditional steps in their classroom. Following a prompt and thorough investigation, we have decided to terminate a Classroom A teacher along with two co-teachers that were assigned to the classroom."

Many parents dispute the timing outlined in the statement, saying they questioned teachers and administrators as early as last fall but got brushed off.

One mom even said the school administrator offered her an explanation.

"She excused the duct-taping incident as for demonstration purposes only."

The school statement goes on to say: "We must make abundantly clear that Granada Hills Montessori School does not condone any form of abusive and or physical discipline of its students and regularly takes every step possible to avoid such behavior by its employees."

The parents aren't buying that line, and say it was heartbreaking to hear from a 4-year-old that the pre-school was mentally traumatic as well.

"I get really emotional talking about this part, he said he wants to die, and that no one at school likes him, his teacher is mean to him," said another concerned mother. "I would tell him all the time, I love you so much, you're so smart, and he's like 'No I'm not, my teachers don't like me'."

The group of mothers took it upon themselves to contact other parents at the school to let them know what was going on. They say the school wasn't being transparent.

They contacted police and say they're also considering civil litigation.