Reported by Liku Zelleke
When five young students at Winfield Scott Elementary School in Elizabeth, New Jersey, talked too much, their unidentified teacher punished them using a rather bizarre method: she taped their mouths shut.
The parents of the children are now asking that the teacher get fired. What is known so far is that she will not be allowed to fill in again at an elementary school.
According to parents and the school’s officials, the teacher, who is a substitute, allegedly took hot pink decorative tape and placed pieces of it on the children’s mouth and called it a “quiet game”. The width of the tape was similar to that of duct tape.
Angelique Correa Henderson was one of those five students. She said that she had felt pressure and was scared as the teacher taped her mouth because, she admitted, she and the other students “were jabbering too much.”
She said that when the tape was placed on her mouth, it almost covered her nostrils making it hard for her to breath.
“My heart kept on beating fast,” Henderson said.
Her father, Munford Henderson, is outraged at the act of “barbarism”.
“I don’t understand what she was thinking. We’re talking about kids. You’re sworn to protect and teach, not to hurt them and put them in fear,” he said.
Marie Yacinthe is a concerned parent who has heard about the incident and whose children also go to the same elementary school. She said, “You don’t do that to anybody, especially kids. You don’t do that.”
Police and education officials have been called in to look into the matter. But in the meantime, parents, including Munford, want assurance that the accused teacher has no contact with students again.
“She does not need to be teaching and being around kids if she can’t control her emotions and the way she presents herself around kids,” he said.
It has been reported that the teacher had had no disciplinary actions taken against her before the incident and has been taken off the substitutes’ list of the elementary school.