Skip to comments.Substitute Teacher Fired for Taping Mouths
Posted on 05/26/2005 8:11:47 PM PDT by Dan from Michigan
Substitute Teacher Fired for Taping Mouths
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - A substitute teacher who was fired after putting small pieces of tape across the mouths of first-graders because they would not stop talking said she did not mean any harm.
Vigo County schools officials fired Sheryl Smith this week after parents told them that she had taped six children's mouths at Fuqua Elementary School.
"A substitute teacher used extremely poor judgment," said John Orr, director of human resources.
Smith had put the tape on vertically, and it did not cover the children's mouths, although they could not talk. She did it because some of the children would not be quiet, Orr said.
"That's something we don't tolerate in the Vigo County School Corporation," Orr said. "She is terminated ... she will not work for the corporation anymore."
But Smith, who often substituted for the class, said she taped the students' mouths in a playful way.
"It was a little piece of Scotch tape," she said. "I was just joking with them. I think it's blown clear out of proportion."
Orr contacted Vigo County Child Protective Services about what happened but believes the agency would not pursue it because no children were injured.
None of the kids appeared upset in class, and the tape wasn't on very long, Smith said.
Taping the child's mouth shut is like saying the child has no right to speak. (I'm bigger than you are, so I can force you to shut up!!) I don't agree with that.
If you need the children to be quiet to conduct your class activities, tell them to listen, if they choose to continue to disrupt, threaten to take away their play time so you can make up what was lost by their disruption.
Teaches consequences for their actions, and does not make them feel inferior to a control freak.
We have an - argumentative - child. Talks back to me, I point out the error of his ways, physically, immediately. He stops.
My wife will talk at him for hours, and decries any form of corporal punishment. They SCREAM at each other for hours, I mean, unless I step in.
For my money, she is abusing the kid.
Problem with that response is teacher looses teeth (and job), you go to jail and kid takes off tape and goes outside and plays. Not sure the lesson you would be imparting by going to jail over a piece of tape.
I agree...it was the teacher's decision to use that method...I agree with the schools decision to not use her as a substitute anymore, though it could have been just as appropriate to reprimand her so she understood that was not allowed and give her another chance. If she messed up again, press charges!
Oh. I'm dumb enough to be caught.
But, to this day, I think SPANKING the child, correcting him, and giving him a hug, is one heck of a lot less cruel then yelling at him for days.
OK, that is reasonable. But I really don't think this falls into the category of 'abuse'.
Same thing in my house. No problem with corporal punishment, actually mo problem with the tape thing as long as it was done in the spirit of fun--which sounds really weird, but I can see a teacher kidding with the kids to be quiet or "I'll tape your mouth". Problem is, from my experience, all the kids at that age would want it also after one of them got it.
I am a firm believer of corporal punishment. My kids require hindside dust removal services occasionally. Once I knock the dust off, they have a new outlook on life, at least for a little while. I do have to administer reminders.
My kids are aware of what happens if they don't obey me, and their teachers. They usually only have to be told once what is expected. If I have to tell them twice, they are due a reminder!
I hate to say it but, you are part of the problem that is inherent in modern day schools. This tape is NO big deal, the teacher is older and the children should have no right to speak in class out of turn.
I hear you on that.
Good - I misunderstood you, then.
You must be one of those "Children are to be seen, not heard" people. How do you expect a child to grow into a capable adult if you inhibit their growth and creativity when they are children?
The tape is a big deal in my opinion...it is the device of a control freak!
Now, I might disagree with the whole tape thing. But my disagreement would consist of, "Well, did you slap him???"
Tape seems odd.
I think we are sorta on the same page here. ;)
I think so too. Good to know I'm not the only one who feels this way! :)
Tape seems odd.
That's why I don't think it was intended as "punishment" as much as it was the teacher trying to handle the situation light heartedly. But who knows, she could have been a crusty old mean b*tch just looking to degrade the kids and take total control of the situation while using them as an example for the other little demons. Now that I think about it, yep that's the ticket.
But if it were my kid, I would be asking questions.
I'd ask mine "we're you talking?" If the answer was yes then I'd say "got what you deserved".