An Agoura Hills daycare center was sued Monday by the mothers of several young children who allege that two teachers disciplined boys by pressing push pins into their legs.

The four mothers filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Tutor Time of Agoura Hills, alleging negligence, negligent supervision and hiring, failure to report abuse, assault and battery, breach of contract and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The suit also names teachers Rosa Nepomuseno and Jessica Morales.

The adult plaintiffs are identified only as Nicole Z., Kim M., Debbie S. and Krista L. Their children also are plaintiffs and the suit seeks unspecified damages.

A woman who answered the phone at the facility and identified herself as the manager said the center has been under new ownership since August. She declined further comment.

According to the complaint, the four mothers all enrolled children under the age of 3 at the center in 2013 and 2014.

Unknown to the women, Nepomuseno and Morales “had a custom and practice of regularly using push pins to discipline toddler boys in their classrooms,” the suit states. “If a boy was deemed inattentive or failed to follow directions, these teachers would stick a push pin into the child’s legs.”

The pins were pressed deep enough to inflict pain and injury, according to the lawsuit.

“This practice was so commonplace at Tutor Time that the defendants had given it a name; they called it ‘pica pica,”‘ the suit states.

A daughter of one of the mothers was “made to watch the defendants inflict this brutal punishment on her twin brother, which resulted in severe mental and emotional injuries to her,” the suit states.

Other teachers witnessed the alleged punishment inflicted by Nepomuseno and Morales, but did not report the abuses as required by law, according to the complaint.

The county Department of Social Services conducted an investigation and determined that serious violations occurred, the suit states.

“However, the defendants again hid this information from the parent plaintiffs,” the suit states.

The failure to report delayed treatment and counseling for the children, worsening their injuries and damages, the suit states.

The written contracts the adult plaintiffs signed with the center stated that their children would be provided with “the best” in quality childcare, that only “non-physical disciplinary techniques” would be used and that all suspected child abuse would be promptly reported, the suit states.

City News Service

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