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Teacher tapes child to seat in Pasadena; Substitute sent home pending district review

Posted at 6:08 PM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 18:08:47-05

This isn't the first time someone has used tape to restrain a child.

You can find videos of willing subjects on YouTube.

But when school administrators learned it had happened at Lake Shore Elementary School this week, it was no laughing matter.

"The first indication that we knew anything had happened was late on Wednesday night when someone contacted the principal of the school well after school had dismissed. Nothing was said during the day,” said Bob Mosier, the school system’s chief communications officer, “The principal immediately contacted our Human Resources Division. They pulled the substitute teacher from the classroom. She has not been back in a classroom."

In a letter to parents, Principal Julie Little-McVearry said she was "shocked and appalled" upon hearing about the incident---an incident that has all of the markings of a joke that went terribly wrong.

"The child was out of his seat. The teacher asked the child to sit down. The child didn't and then a banter ensued in which a teacher said, 'If you don't sit down, I'm going to tape you to your seat', and the child said, 'Well, okay', and so the teacher did exactly that," said Mosier.

The Anne Arundel County Schools system uses 600 substitute teachers each day, and this long-term substitute had been teaching the second grade class since late October.

While by all accounts, the incident was far from a harsh display of discipline by an authoritarian figure, the district is taking it seriously.

"It looks like this was done in a playful manner, but that said, this is never appropriate. It's never... not even in a playful manner... anything that we accept in our schools," said Mosier.

Anne Arundel County police say they went to the school and investigated the incident, but found it did not rise to the level of an assault and will not pursue any charge against the teacher.

The district says she will be barred from returning to the classroom pending an internal review of the matter.