Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Be Quiet, or I will tape your mouth shut!

On August 15, 2008, parents in Fowlerville, Michigan had their infant taken away from them and were charged with child abuse and neglect for allegedly taping a pacifier in the mouth of their infant. (Report: Pacifier Taped in Baby's Mouth) While I tend to agree that taping a pacifier in the mouth of an infant is not the best choice a parent could make, and I am fairly certain many will agree that this is wrong; this particular story adds a certain element of contrast to what our society views as acceptable when it comes to keeping a little one quiet.

What if the child was not an infant? Would it be acceptable to tape the mouth of a child at the age of four? Who has the right to decide if a child's mouth should be taped shut? How about a teacher in Queens, NY? That teacher is now facing a lawsuit based on a parent's claim that their 4 year old daughter had her mouth taped shut for speaking during "quiet time" at school. This story was reported in the New York Post and on UPI.com on May 11, 2008.

In Cleveland, TX, a 5 year old little boy that suffers with Asthma had his mouth taped shut by his teacher -- (KTRK TV, Houston, TX). In Marietta, GA, a 10 year old boy suffered the same treatment during an after-school program -- (Cobb County, GA). In Durham, NC, a 9 year old boy that suffers with Cerebral Palsy, blindness in one eye and asthma, had his mouth taped shut, according to a report by WRAL News. What is happening in our schools that they view taping a child's mouth shut as an acceptable means of discipline? What is happening in our society that we are allowing this type of aversive action to take place in our schools?

Are you surprised to learn that incidents like this take place and seem to be an acceptable practice by school administrators? Guess what, it is happening closer to home than you may realize! I was recently contacted by a family in Haddon Heights that told me this horrific story about their special needs child having his mouth taped shut by a substitute teacher. The boy's mother told me that school administrators were covering up this incident and placing a rather creative spin on the situation. Stories have now surfaced, which I presume were by school officials, that claim this was part of a class game. Taping a child's mouth shut, especially a child on the spectrum, cannot possibly be viewed as a "game!"

According to the child, this was not a game at all. He was asked to be quiet several times during class and openly admitted that he had difficulty with this request. Furthermore, he explained to his mother, that he was warned by the substitute teacher that if he could not be quiet, his mouth would be taped shut. The boy claims that when he spoke again, the substitute teacher taped his mouth shut. For those of us with a child on the spectrum, we are already aware that our children do not typically tell lies. It is not in their nature because they are hard-wired to deal with facts and have a tendency to be extremely literal. Not to mention that they often do not grasp social norms and would be unaware that this is not a socially acceptable practice. They just know that it happened and was not very enjoyable.

Having your mouth taped shut would present difficulty even for a typical child. However, in this particular case, the child has a disability that classifies him for special education. That disability includes a Sensory Integration Disorder that makes this scenario particularly problematic. I see three very clear problems here. One, if the child has a Sensory Integration Disorder, the physical feeling of having his mouth taped shut most likely caused discomfort, if not actual pain. So as an individual behavioral strategy, this was unacceptable for this particular child.

Second, any type of behavioral challenge, including an inability to follow directions or remain silent during certain instructional periods, should be addressed via a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) that would include preparing a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) that addresses the behaviors in a positive manner. That is what Special Education Law dictates. A teacher, substitute teacher, case manager, or even a local school official does not have the authority to re-write the laws governing special education. There seems to be a clear violation of the law if negative approaches such as this were utilized and the behaviors were never addressed in a constructive fashion that complied with special education laws.

The third problem, which I find very disturbing, is that a child with special needs was subjected to public humiliation in front of his peers. Based on the very nature of autistic disorders, this child is prone to sensory issues, not to mention he is prone to feeling anxious, embarrassed and fearful. To humiliate him in front of his typical peers causes more psychological damage than many educators realize. How will our children ever "fit in" when they are singled out and subjected to such acts?

Our schools and teachers who partake in this type of discipline should be held accountable for their actions. It is no wonder that other students treat our disabled children so poorly -- in many cases, they are learning it from the staff. Furthermore, it is not enough to just blame a poorly trained staff member for making such a bad choice -- when school administrators do not do anything about issues like this, they are condoning this type of behavior from their staff. They too, should be held accountable.

The family from Haddon Heights initially tried to contact the School Principal to complain about this situation. When the School Principal was too busy to meet with the parent, she went directly to the Superintendent. It appeared that their concerns were not being taken seriously, so the family documented the incident in a police report to make certain there was an official record of the incident. By December 8th the parents had written a letter to the Director of Special Education and the School Principal to indicate their concerns in writing. They feared that their child's behavior was being addressed through physical management and restraint and they were concerned about their son's emotional health as a result of the incident. However, their complaint went unanswered for a month.

By January 5th, the family had learned that this particular substitute teacher was still permitted to teach at the Seventh Avenue Elementary School and had been assigned again as a substitute within a week of the incident. The family followed up with a letter to the Haddon Heights Board of Education. In their letter they pointed out other incidents that concerned them about the manner in which their child's special needs had been addressed.

Finally on January 7th they received a response from Phillip Hammer, the President of Haddon Heights Board of Education. The letter stated that a thorough investigation had been conducted by the School Principal and the Case Manager. Mom was told that this investigation included an interview with the substitute and the aide, but the investigation did not include interviewing the child, who was the apparent victim. Furthermore, it does not appear that any other students or their parents were interviewed. Surely, other students would have gone home and told their parents about this situation. The letter went on to state that this substitute would not be assigned to this particular classroom again, but stopped short of stating that the substitute would not be used to fill vacancies in other classrooms at the school or within the Haddon Heights School District.

The letter seems somewhat antagonistic in that it states that "the result of this investigation revealed facts that do not conform with the claims [the parent] has made." In other words, the parents are lying? Apparently they are not, because other parents have reported that there was an incident in that particular classroom and on that particular day, and when this particular teacher was assigned -- that do in fact include an incident of taping mouth(s) shut.

The letter goes on to state that the school district is "following policies consistent with the district's priority to ensure the safety, well-being, fair treatment and quality education of every child." It would certainly force me to ask questions such as: Is it "safe" to tape a child's mouth shut? Is this in the best interest of the child or his "well being?" Is it "fair" to treat a special needs child in this manner? How does taping his mouth shut ensure a "quality education?"

As for the report from another parent that confirms the taping incident occurred, it is interesting to note that this report was made in a public fashion, as a response to an article in the Retrospect on Friday December 19. The parent that supposedly wrote this response was conveniently listed as "Name Withheld on Request." Although the response puts an interesting spin on the incident, it most certainly confirmed that an incident occurred that involved taping more than one child's mouth shut. If this response letter was submitted as damage control, it seems to have caused more damage because it substantiates the family's accusations that the incident took place. You can read the article that appeared in The Retrospect by clicking here.

In speaking with the boy's family, I have learned that the boy's mother seems to have become the target of unwarranted harassment by others, simply because she stood up for her child's rights. I am asking readers to support this family by sending emails to the Haddon Heights School District. Let them know how we, as a society, feel about taking such aversive actions that lead to fear and humiliation for our special needs children. Perhaps publicly embarrassing a school district that seems not to hold staff accountable for their actions, may force them to address this issue and apologize to the family involved.

Dr. Nancy Hacker, Superintendent, e-mail: hackern@hhsd.k12.nj.us
Mrs. Jane McGovern, School Principal, e-mail: mcgoverj@hhsd.k12.nj.us
Mr. George Rafferty, Director of Special Education, e-mail: raffertyg@hhsd.k12.nj.us
Mr. Phillip Hammer, President, Haddon Heights BOE, e-mail: pwhammer@gmail.com

As always, feel free to leave comments below.
Kathi Magee

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kathy,
Thanks for sharing this story and for writing again. I was starting to think that CH had succeeded in taping your mouth shut!

It is upsetting to read that stuff like this happens to children in this day and age. I hope the kids parents sue Haddon Heights for the mistreatment of their child. Keep us posted on any new developments with this.

RJD said...

Kath, I hope you advised the parents to file a complaint with OSEP. If not, please ask them to do this. It is the only way that Haddon Twp will take them seriously. As I was reading this story I thought about CH. I could see this happening right here in our town. You hit the nail on the head when you said that administrators need to held accountable for the staff's actions. They set the standard however low it may be.
RJD

Anonymous said...

If I were the parents I might be inclined to show up at a board meeting and tape their mouth's shut!

Anonymous said...

Maybe a mediation session would be helpful for all involved. The school could admit that this was wrong, provide staff training and stop using this substitute until s/he receives appropriate training. That would be the smart thing for the district to do. If there is some type of resolution the story ends there. If not these parents may have a heck of a lawsuit.

Hey Kathi--do your lawyer friends still read your blog? I would be interested in reading their comments on this.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to be disrespectful or ignorant about your kids troubles but if the kid was told to be quiet or his mouth would be taped shut why didn't he just stop talking? Even a very young kid would understand that there are rules and consequences. I tell my 3 year old not to do something or this will happen. Write on the wall again and I will take your crayons away. She is only 3 and she understands that. The kid was warned "be quiet or I will tape your mouth shut." The kid made the choice not the teacher. Just my opinion.

Kathi Magee said...

To Anon above:
In a perfect world with a typical child it is reasonable to assume that a child would get that, but it would still be inappropriate for a teacher to tape a typical child's mouth shut, in my opinion.

However, this is a child on the spectrum that most likely does not grasp cause and effect as easily. If I told my son "put your socks on or your feet will get cold," he probably would not put his socks on. I put the word "or" in there. His interpretation was - I have a choice. He also only heard up to the word "or." I can put the socks on OR whatever else mom just said. If I re-phrased it and said, "It is cold. Put your socks on." It is now a statement and a command. He can process that info more easily and would be more likely to comply.
There is a chance he may not because my son also has Sensory Integration issues and if his socks were not on it was most likely because they were bothering his feet.

We also need to keep in mind that kids on the spectrum have many other issues that they are contending with at once and their brain is in over-drive. They typically have difficulty with a change in routines. Having a substitute teacher was one change, a really big change for a kid with an ASD. I would assume since no 2 teachers are alike, the teaching style was a little different too. Perhaps the room was a little louder than usual. Kids with Sensory Integration Disorder would be impacted by that. So we now have a child dealing with multiple issues, that is trying his best to stay focused and he is given another demand -- "Be Quiet, or I will tape your mouth shut."

My guess, is that the substitute had no clue how to handle a child on the spectrum and had most likely never read the child's IEP -- not that that would have mattered because the sub probably had no idea what a sensory integration disorder meant!

So the child is told "be quiet... or I will tape your mouth shut." The child is now embarrassed on top of everything else and feeling anxious, etc. These are not optimal conditions for a kid with an ASD.

To add insult to injury, the kids mouth is taped shut -- for 20 minutes! He is embarrassed in front of his peers and the tape was most likely irritating his overly sensitive skin. It was cruel and served no beneficial purpose. If the child was being disruptive by talking the sub could have just as easily used a positive means of redirecting the child.

The sub made a choice to take this assignment and should have been advised of the child's IEP. The sub made a choice to threaten a child with taping his mouth shut, which was negative in itself (before the actual taping took place.) The sub made the choice to go ahead and place tape on the child's mouth, which was wrong on many levels.

This is why it is imperative that staff receive thorough training in managing children with ASD's.
Kathi Magee

barb said...

I just can't get past the fact that this sub thought it was OK to scotch tape a childs mouth shut. That is just plain crazy! Training for ASD is good but how bout a lesson in humanity.
Barb

Anonymous said...

" The kid was warned "be quiet or I will tape your mouth shut." The kid made the choice not the teacher. Just my opinion."

Are you kidding me? you model the behavior you want.

It sounds as if you are the substitute teacher. Your day of judgement will come.

Anonymous said...

To anonfrom January 14, 2009 9:11 AM:

OMG! You have got to be kidding! Please read up on autism! There are laws protecting these kids (any kids, but especially those with IEPs). They are required by law to follow the IEPs, which are written based upon the child's individual needs and disability. I had a situation where our school's principal decided not to give my son's subsitute teacher a copy of his IEP, so she had absolutely no idea what she was dealing with. She had no idea that he had special medical needs and refused to allow him to go to the bathroom (there are Dr's orders requiring them to allow this when he needs to go) and that led to a meltdown (he REALLY had to go!) which led to a suspension. He made the wrong behavioral choice, but the teacher and school made wrong choices as well. In the Haddon Twp case, there is no excuse for taping a child's mouth shut. If the child is being disruptive, he can be sent to the principal's office, but taping is unacceptable.

I strongly suggest reading Temple Grandin's books. She is a brilliant woman with a PhD who also has autism, and she explains (very well) what it's like to be autistic, and how the autistic mind works. Their brains are wired differently than a neurotypical person. There are pros and cons. They don't get some things that you would assume everyone would understand, especially things that deal with social skills.

Anonymous said...

First, let me say this substitute's behavior is deplorable. When is it allowed in the state of New Jersey that any teacher or substitute be allowed to lay a hand on a child in this manner. If a child's mouth was taped shut by a parent and DYFS found out, the child would be removed from the home. I believe taping a child's mouth shut could be considered a form of an aversive techniques. I have always been under the impression that aversive's should only be used when a child is becoming a danger to themselves or the staff and children around them. When an aversive is implemented, I believe the law states that the parent or guardian be notified in writing. My thoughts would be this: How is talking in class putting the child or anyone around them in danger?

What I even find more deplorable than the substitute's behavior is the district's handling of this situation. If I were this district , I would be very , very nervous, because if this was my child, I would be checking with my attorney's to see what my rights are.....

NO child should be treated in this manner. Whether they have special needs or they are typical.

Anonymous said...

Any updates on this story?

Any ideas on how to rally the Cherry Hill Board of Ed to hire an autism specialist for the district?

Money is tight and this budget will not pass but if they were to stay strong and demand that the teachers union pay into benefits we would be able to hire a specialist.

Remember to go to the Cherry Hill Board of Ed Budget Meeting 2/4, Should be an interesting night.

Special interest groups need to make sure that their money is protected in the budget.

We must all come together and expect our board members to fight NJEA!

Anonymous said...

By JAIME SARRIO • The Tennessean • February 11, 2009
http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090211/NEWS0401/90211025

A third-grade Metro Nashville teacher is on paid leave after he
confessed to taping several students' mouths shut and taping another
student to a chair.

Kevin Ray, a teacher at Park Avenue Elementary, was suspended Feb. 6
after he reported the incident to the principal, said June Keel, head
of human resources for Metro Schools. Ray could not immediately be
reached for comment.

Keel said Ray reported the incident after realizing it was not an
appropriate form of discipline. He allegedly taped the students with
packaging tape after they would not quit talking and taped one little
girl to the chair while she took a test.

District officials are investigating the case and said they expect to
have a decision on Ray's punishment by the end of the week.

This is Ray's first year teaching in Metro Schools. Park Avenue is
located in North Nashville and has an enrollment of about 228
students.

Principal Deltina Braden declined to comment.

Contact Jaime Sarrio at 615-726-5964 or jsarrio@tennessean.com

Anonymous said...

I am curious if the children involved in the article had special needs? If not than we know there is a double standard.

Anonymous said...

Anyone souunding the alarm about the Cherry Hill Board of Ed $10 million dollar deficit going into the budget sessions?

If we are in a budget freeze then why on earth are they approving still out of district spending?

Will they finally get rid of math coaches, ISS positions (please note that ESS are directly involved with students)This is about 20-24 employee positions.

Exploratory's at the middle school?
That is about 15 employee positions plus benefits, etc.

If the biggest chunk of the budget is salary, then this is where the cuts must be made.

Please email your board members and Dr. Campbell. Tell them what you would cut.

He says everything is on the table then we need to let him know what we think we can cut.

Lets offer enough so that he can hire an autism specialist for the district.

Anonymous said...

In Cherry Hill, there is always a deficit until there's a surplus.

Anonymous said...

Where did all those tax dollars go from last year? Administrative salaries, no doubt. Maybe they should cut all NON-Tenured administrative employees to save some money.

Anonymous said...

Here, here!

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should cut all NON-Tenured administrative employees to save some money.

Excellent idea!

But we are still stuck with the one that was almost released until he cried fowl!

Kathi Magee said...

Sorry everyone, this is the first chance I had to enter into the conversation.

I like the idea to "cut all NON-Tenured administrative employees to save some money." I noticed a keyword there was "administrative" -- not ed assistants or teachers!

I am not sure who the "one that was almost released until he cried fowl" is. Could someone email me privately to fill me in? kathimagee@verizon.net

Just a few other thoughts -- If they were providing the "appropriate" programs and related services that are required by law, we could save mega-bucks on staff time (salaries) to attend mediation sessions and save a bundle on legal fees.

It seems that our special ed dept may be spending more time in legal debates than in educating our children.

Just my 2.5 cents! (inflation!)
Kathi

Anonymous said...

How about cutting costs by cutting the salaries of the overpaid administrators? Ed.assistants make around $7-$11.00 an hour(depending on how long they're there) and that's where they want to save money? The next thing you know the teachers are going to want more money because they don't have the help they need in their classrooms. And how much does it cost for our high schools to graduate out at Temple? What happened to the new auditorium at West? Wouldn't that save some money? I'm sure there are many other ways to cut costs.

Anonymous said...

My child is in that class in Haddon Heights and has no reason to help Haddon Heights in it's "cover-up". The CORRECT VERSION of the story (as told by my child and many other children). They were all playing the quiet game, happily and willingly. It was the idea of the alleged victim and another child to put the tape on their own mouths. They put it on their mouth and everyone else thought it was funny and followed along. He was never threatened and neither was anyone else in that class. While it may not be normal for a child on the spectrum to lie, in this case he did. He is probably so frightened of his own mother, he came up with a lie about the taping, which snowballed as every lie does. It is ridiculous that this has gotten this far.

Yes, the substitute made a poor decision which will probably haunt him for the rest of his life. I'm sure he'll never make that mistake again.

There is no cover-up. The school district didn't write the response to the Retrospect article. It was another parent like me who wants to set the record straight.

Anonymous said...

I am a parent of a child that attends the school where the alledged "taping" took place, and while my child may not be in that particlar class, i refuse to silently stand by and allow someone to make up lies to make our school district look bad. We have a wonderful school system and I have never felt "nervous" about the decisions made regarding who is put in the classrooms with our children,and never will. It is sad and pathetic that this lie has been taken this far, and for someone who keeps asking parents to "think of the children", she should really take a look at her own actions. Hopefully most people in Heights will realize that this "story" is generated simply out of spite and revenge.
And no, i am not a teacher or principal or administator in the district, but just a parent who is quite sick and tired of all the nonsense that has gone on all year.

Mrs T said...

Nobody is comfortable with this situation. I would be very careful making remarks that border on slander about the parent/ child involved in this matter. You may be surprised by what goes on in our public schools.

I faced a similar situation in my school district. Mrs. Magee (who writes this blog) had told a story about a padded closet in the Cherry Hill school district. 3 of my kids attend CH schools and I immediately jumped up and said "not in Cherry Hill" and probably made some rude remarks about Magee in the process.

I came to find out that she was not lying and that there were pictures and witnesses! The pics were even worse that what she described! Mrs. Magee posted them somewhere in this blog. Boy did I feel dumb!

Just because you do not want to believe that this happened does not mean that the kid is lying. Haddon Heights is a great town and you should be proud of the place that you live. If a sub teacher screwed up that does not reflect poorly on your school system. It makes them look bad that they are acting like it never happened. You and your neighbors are probably good people that would never treat a child this way. So it doesn't make you look bad. What would reflect poorly is if you or other parents tried to make this mom look like a liar instead of supporting her. If you can't support another family, than don't. But you shouldn't get all freaked out over something that you were not a part of or there to see yourself. You just said that your kid is not in that class so how would you know what is true or not?

Just my 2 cents!
Mrs. T
Cherry Hill Parent

Anonymous said...

I had no idea that this was going on here in the Heights. I received an email directing me to this blog and was shocked by this.
I now know who the family is and I have to be honest I am not crazy about the mom. But after reading some of the comments and stuff here at the bottom I am more upset with the way parents are quick to jump to judgement and say she is lying.

I have 2 kids that attend school here. If this happened to my normal child I would be very angry. What is wrong with some of the people in my town that they would actually choose sides in this. There is no side that matters other than this child. You can think what you want about the mom but come on people this could have been one of your own children.

I hope if anything happens to my child that you won't be so quick to jump on me for disrupting our quaint little Heights. Some of the emails about this were forwarded by another friend to me and they were disgusting to read. I am not putting my name on this because I know the people that sent those emails and I was once your friend. I don't know that I can call some of you friends now.

I plan to write to our school board and demand a full investigation and that the sub not be used here again. I hope the rest of you find some humanity before you make us all look like uncaring people. How dare you drag our town down my acting so rude and ignorring that a child was probably scarred for life and then you claim to love the Heights.

Anonymous said...

I am the parent who sent the letter to the editor of the Retrospect. I am not an employee of HH School District or the borough of HH. My son is a member of the "mouth taping" class.

As the Retrospect does not electronically publish Letters to the Editor, I am including my comments to them below:

Editorial Board of The Retrospect:

Subject: Parents Allege Child’s Mouth Taped in Heights, dated December 12, 2008 Online Edition

December 15, 2008

My letter is intended to offer some balance to the above mentioned article. My son is a member of the second grade class in Seventh Avenue School. He was in attendance when the substitute teacher was assigned to the class on December 3rd.

Some background, we hold family dinners together every night, or nearly every night. During our dinners we go around the table and we discuss the events that took place in everyone’s day. Just a day or two before the alleged incident, my second grade son remarked that he wished that more of his teachers were men.

The evening of December 3rd, we held our family dinner and discussed the day’s events. During my son’s time to tell about his day, he mentioned that they had a substitute teacher and he was a man. He had mentioned earlier in the day to my wife that he liked the way the substitute read to the class, that he used different voices for each character. Almost as an after thought, he mentioned that the class had taped their mouths closed for quite time. This gave my wife and me a moment of pause. We asked a few questions to get a better understanding of the event. My son was not troubled in any respect and said that the students did it to themselves. A few of the students want to “win” the quiet time game and were using the tape to achieve their goal. More and more students joined in and the substitute teacher cut the game off when some students wanted to tape their eyes shut.

The following day we heard that the tape game incident had developed into an issue for the school. With this information, we investigated further with an email to the class teacher and school principal. Our investigation revealed that the information we had received from our son the night before was accurate and conveyed the spirit of the incident. We discovered there was another adult in the class that witnessed the game. At that time, we offered our support to the school, administration, teacher and substitute. I reiterate this support at this time and in this venue.

As a matter of full disclosure, I have never met and do not know the identity of the substitute teacher. I do not have any business relationship with the school or school district.

I respectfully request you offer me the same consideration you did with the other parents of the second grade class and not report my name…

End of Letter to Editor

The divisive nature this incident has taken has amazed me. I will use it to make a point regarding the declining nature of the newspaper industry. I believe Americans should be concerned about the void that is forming with the implosion of printed news. I am formerly a newspaperperson having spent over 15 years in the industry. It is electronic formats, such as this one, un-edited, un-attributed that people read as fact that give me cause for concern. This is not the only vacuum being generated but it is the one that I believe fits here. End of my newspaper rant!

I remain anonymous because of the age of the children involved, but most particularly due to my observations of the behavior of the mother complaining about the incident. Kathi, I sent you an email to introduce myself to you.

Anonymous said...

i stand behind this mom from haddon heights fighting for some justice on behalf of her special needs son. people of this town are getting so mired in their judgement of her, they miss what is most important, the student's welfare. i believe she was only looking for a fair investigation and an apology from the school and board of education, and received opposition and stonewalling instead. they just want answers. it's disheartening to find out the institution protecting the students wellbeing is worried more about protcting their own reputation. no one wants the town's name dragged through the mud, c'mon people of haddon heights, inappropiate things can't possibly happen here? pride is a funny thing. the board mishandled their dealings w/ the parents, and mishandled putting a young sub. in that classroom w/ a special needs child, there is a protocal to follow. and what's with all the mudslinging anyway? to call this young boy a liar and god only knows what, i see as a digrace, stop it already! if everyone is so worried about saving face for haddon heights, well shame on you, you're giving this town the black eye, not the parents of this young child. they are simply doing what is every parents god given right, to protect their child. it's not easy but it's worth the fight. so i say to the parents keep up the good fight and maybe someday you'll get that apology from the school that you rightfully deserve.

Anonymous said...

To the previous post: No one is saying inappropriate things can't happen in Haddon Heights. Let's face it, Haddon Heights has it's issues just like every other town.

But are the other children in the class lying when they state what happened? I'd be the first person to support this woman if I knew the incident happened the way she is saying. However, everyone else from that class, including another adult has a different story.

Anonymous said...

For all who have posted comments about this issue. There are some parents that are unaware that another parent came forth and stated that her daughter (four months after the fact) was able to remember what happened in that classroom, she stated that her daughter remembers the teacher using two classified kids (after he put tape on their mouths) as examples of what happens "when you can't be quiet". Also please let it be known that the school has admitted that the substitute involved did indeed place scotch tape over at least the child in questions mouth. This was in a statement from the school lawyer, I am sure the family will make it available to anyone that would like a copy. People are addressing the wrong issue here, whether or not they like the family involved. The issue is how inappropriate the taping of a childs mouth is under any circumstance.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I found this article after coming home to find that a relative I have often trusted to care for my kids taped my daughters mouth shut. Needless to say I was furious I mean really...I am so mad I can't sleep. Not only that but there were three other adults in the house and no one apparently thought there was anything wrong with her mouth being taped.