Tape on mouth, Elementary School

Elementary School Teacher’s Aide Accused Of Taping Students’ Mouths Shut

What happened to regular spelling bees?

Parents of students at Woodson Elementary School in Illinois are accusing a teacher’s aide of taping students’ mouths shut.

The angry parents said they were alerted that what was supposed to be a fun assignment at the school in Bronzeville was anything but. One parent said she received a phone call from the accused aide saying a game would be played in her 5-year-old son’s kindergarten class but never giving details. Moments later, the school’s principal called with a more detailed account.

“Never, not once, she said what the game was. She never said anything about tape,” the parent, who goes by Jil, said. “Stating that an incident has taken place with a tape. They never said what kind of tape. All I knew was my son was taped,” she said.

Another parent said the T.A. initially told the principal, “They were having a spelling bee, and they didn’t want all the smart kids to blurt out the answers, so they duct-taped their mouths.”

Jil said her son told her that his mouth was taped as well.

The school sent out a letter to parents with a statement about what occurred on Mar. 18 to approximately seven kids. “There have been allegations that one of our staff members engaged improperly with students,” the letter read, according to Local 12.

“An investigation has been initiated by the Office of Student Protections and Title IX (OSP), and this individual has been removed during the investigation.”

The staff member has yet to be named or has charges filed against them; however, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) confirmed they have been made aware of the issue and “the investigation is currently open at this point in time.”

Woodson administrators continued in the letter that they “are taking this situation seriously” and “remain committed to providing your children with a safe, positive learning environment where they can reach their full potential.” School leaders announced they would determine whether the teacher’s aide could return to the school at a later date, but this would be contingent on the results of the investigation.