Day care teacher accused of child endangerment

Deborah Gratz

A daycare employee who attempted to drug several children under her care was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment Monday, police said. 

Morgan Hill police were dispatched to the Kiddie Academy Childcare facility at 15750 Monterey Road Monday on a report that a teacher employed at the facility had been terminated for putting an unknown substance into several children’s drink cups, according to Sgt. Troy Hoefling. 

The teacher, later identified as Deborah Gratz, 59 of Hollister, allegedly placed the substance into the cups Friday, police said. The police investigation determined that a witness observed Gratz’ alleged crime. When confronted by facility administrators, Gratz admitted the substance was Sominex, a sleeping aid available over-the-counter. 

Gratz had been a teacher at Kiddie Academy for about five years, Hoefling said. Her primary responsibility at the facility was to oversee a class of toddlers between 1 and 2 years old. 

On Sunday, following a police investigation, officers served a search warrant at Gratz’ residence in Hollister, Hoefling said. Officers made contact with Gratz at her home and arrested her on suspicion of felony child endangerment. She was later transported to Santa Clara County Jail. 

Evidence related to the investigation was seized from Gratz’ home during the search, but police did not specify what that evidence is. 

Anyone with information about this incident or who thinks their child was under the care of Gratz while at the Kiddie Academy can call Morgan Hill police at (408) 779-2101 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 947-7867.