Thursday, March 5, 2009

MD: Parents Outraged Over Taping of Childrens' Mouths

posted 03/05/09 5:14 pm

Prince George's County, Md. - For the second time in a week, Prince George's County students say their mouths were taped shut by teachers in an effort to keep them quiet.

"What day and age are we in when a teacher just tapes a child's mouth shut," asked Fanchon Christopher, a parent.

The first incident happened last week when a teacher's aid allegedly taped a student's mouth shut in the cafeteria of Flinstone Elementary School.

Now officials at Kingsford Elementary School say a third grade teacher is under investigation for placing masking tape on the mouths of seven students. The most recent incident came to light when another faculty member apparently spotted a little boy walking through the hall with his mouth covered in tape.

"A counselor stopped them and asked why and he said the teacher did it, so they brought the teacher to the office where the principal began to investigate," said John White with the Prince George's County school system.

"Tape on the mouth of the kids. What kind of human are we?" said Catarino Lopez, a parent.

Meanwhile, Parents are wondering what kind of disciplinary training the school system provides. The school system is sending home letters with students to inform parents of the alleged incidents and to inform them the school has reassigned both the teacher and aid to jobs away from children pending an investigation.

"Parent's don't even do that in this day and age - it's abuse. It is literally child abuse and that teacher should be let go," said an angry parent.

School officials say if they are found to have acted inappropriately they could face losing their jobs.

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