In a continuing trend of inappropriate behavior towards their pupils (back in December the case of an autistic boy being shoved in a duffel bag because he was perceived to misbehave), especially children with learning difficulties comes now the tale of a special needs teacher and their aide duct taping a student’s mouth shut- because he spoke out of line.
According to witnesses, the fifth grade teacher and the aide held the ten year old boy’s arms behind his back and covered his mouth with tape as punishment for talking too much, something that perhaps a child with special needs might be prone to do.
The incident is said to have happened this past Thursday at Sacramento’s John Cabrillo Elementary School, CA.
The parents as a consequence of their child being rough handled have now filed a police report and are adamant that the teachers responsible be removed from the school.
Said Laura Silva, the mother of the boy: “I don’t want her to be able to teach again.”
She also went on to say that her son as a result of the teacher and the aides action suffered humiliation and was widely ridiculed and embarrassed.
Offered the child’s father, Floyd Vargas: ‘He’s pacing the house, chewing his nails, asking “Am I going to be in trouble when I go back to school? Am I going to lose recesses? Will people mistreat me?”
‘I understand taking recesses or time-outs, but not taping a student’s mouth shut because he spoke out in class.’
Offers school district spokesperson Gabe Ross: ‘The safety of students is our top priority and, should these allegations prove true, the school and the district will take the strongest possible action against these individuals.’
Whilst duct taping a child’s mouth should never be tolerated disciplining a wayward child ought to be done compassionately and responsibly, something that may be easier said then done when one is dealing with a special needs child whose very condition would mandate more attention and whom from time to time may end up behaving that would under regular settings be considered very inappropriate.
Then again in a system that punishes a school by withholding funds from it should it suspend a child one could dare wonder the temptation of administrators and teachers to administer a type of punishment that would still keep dollars in the school coffers and the child in its place. Then again duct taping a ten year old boy hardly sounds like the magic balancing act either.
At present local police have opened an investigation into the teachers’ alleged behaviour but no charges have been filed as of yet.