DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – Tanya Couillard says she started working at Green Bay Montessori Children’s World on Monday, August 16.
“It was not what I expected,” she explains about the experience. “Totally, completely different than what I would expect out of a school.”
Three days later, on Thursday, August 19, she quit.
“I had enough, and I left,” Couillard says, “and I called CPS.”
She also took to Facebook, describing the alleged abuse she had witnessed over the course of her short time with the school in a now-viral post.
As of the publishing of this article, the post had been shared by more than 57,000 people.
Monday, Couillard discussed with Local 5 the contents of that post: the physical and verbal abuses she allegedly watched children endure while at the Montessori school.
“She [a teacher at the school] would pick kids up by the arms, straight up off the ground. There was an incident where she was pulling a kid by his arm down the stairs because he wasn’t moving fast enough,” Couillard alleged.
Local 5 reached out to Montessori Children’s World for comment.
They responded with a statement from their attorney, in which they claim that the teacher involved in the allegations no longer works at the school.
Brown County Child Protective Services told Local 5 Wednesday that they have been made aware of the allegations.
Health and Human Services Executive Director Erik Pritzl emailed a statement to Local 5 regarding the situation:
“The Brown County Health & Human Services Department is aware of a social media post regarding Green Bay Montessori Children’s World. The department is not able to provide comment on individual Child Protective Services reports, including whether a report is open for assessment.
Child Protective Services reviews and screens all reports made to determine if the information meets standards established by the State of Wisconsin-Department of Children and Families. If a report meets these standards, then an investigation assessment of the allegations will be completed conducted and appropriate actions, if any, will be taken.
Child Protective Services is concerned for the safety children in the community, and we encourage anyone with concerns related to child abuse and neglect to report these concerns to the department. If anyone believes a child has been abused or neglected or is at risk, you should report your concerns to the Brown County Health & Human Services Department immediately by calling 920-448-6035.”Erik Pritzl, MSSW, MBA, Executive Director
Brown County Health & Human Services Department
Officials with the De Pere Police Department say that they are also aware of the allegations.
They are asking anyone with information or allegations to come forward.
Local 5 also reached out to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.
A department official says that the Green Bay Montessori Children’s World does not fall under the department’s jurisdiction because it is considered a private school, and therefore the establishment does not have to follow state licensing procedures.
Couillard, the woman who set off the chain of events with her social media post says she hopes change is made.
“I’m hoping that they get shut down and something happens,” she says, “because they [students at the school] are going to be mentally traumatized.”