A mother of an 11-year-old is speaking out after a text exchange in which he sent her a photograph of his mouth taped shut by his middle school teacher in Johnston, North Carolina.
The incident unfolded on February 14, but Catherine Webster didn’t say anything about it until a police investigation was completed.
She said that her son Brady had sent her the photo while he was attending Smithfield Middle School. The photo was obtained by WRAL-TV and showed numerous strips of painter’s tape over the boy’s mouth all the way up to his eyes.
“I asked, ‘What is that? Who did that?’” Webster told WRAL. “And, he didn’t respond.”
Webster says her son can be a class clown and very talkative, but she says taping his mouth shut was an inappropriate way to deal with him.
She says that the school began an investigation after she told LaShunda Faisonm, the school’s principal. The boy indicated that it was not the first time the teacher had taped his mouth shut and also that the teacher had done so to other students. He also said that the teacher had tied students’ wrists together with the painter’s tape.
Johnston County Public Schools said that the teacher resigned several days after the incident was reported.
The district released a statement about the incident.
“Johnston County Public Schools takes any allegations of staff misconduct seriously,” the district said.
“Although we cannot discuss the specifics of an investigation into alleged staff misconduct, we can confirm that whenever such allegations arise, our administration responds swiftly, by investigating the allegations and, sometimes, by removing staff from classrooms pending completion of a thorough review,” the statement continued. “School administrators are always able and willing to speak with any and all parents who may have concerns regarding any issue that occurs.”
The school said that the teacher had been recently hired in August.
Police told WRAL that there was not enough evidence to press charges against the former teacher, despite there being other accusations from separate parents.
“I want to know who is going to be held accountable, so this doesn’t happen again,” Webster said.
Here’s a local news report about the incident:
Mother says her son’s mouth was taped by Johnston County Schools teacher
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