Teacher Tapes 7-Year-Old Student’s Mouth Shut For Talking In Class, Leaving Him ‘Traumatized’

A New Zealand teacher has come under fire after taping a student’s mouth shut for talking in class. A furious mom pulled her 7-year-old son out of Colwill School in West Auckland for two weeks as the boy was left “traumatized” after a plastic label was placed over his mouth in what school principal Rob Taylor described as a “game that children appeared to enjoy,” Stuff.co.nz.

  1. The boy suffers from asthma. According to the student’s mother, her son takes asthma medication daily for his respiratory issues, which makes the teacher’s decision to tape his mouth shut even more disturbing.
  2. The school performed its own investigation. The unnamed student’s mother did not file a formal complaint with the school but Taylor insisted that “even though you chose not to follow the school’s complaint process, this did not stop me from dealing with this concern as if you had” in a letter dated December 11.
  3. While the investigation is still ongoing, it doesn’t seem anyone has been disciplined yet. “A careful and thorough investigation was finally able to be completed yesterday with the last of the parents of these children being interviewed. These things do take time, based on the availability of key people needing to be free to meet with us,” Taylor wrote. “All children involved and their parents, excluding [student], have now been interviewed appropriately by the school’s Social Worker who informs me that [staff member’s] perspective that this was game [sic] that the children appeared to enjoy and wished to play with her was by all accounts the correct version of this event.”
  4. The boy was offered counseling by the Ministry of Education. However, his mother doesn’t believe this went far enough and says that no one has apologized to here or her son following the incident. “I asked my 7-year-old what he thought about all this, and he said: ‘When we do something wrong in class we have to say sorry and that we won’t do it again, why can’t the teacher?'” the boy’s mother relayed. She added: “I’m just absolutely appalled that a teacher would do something like this.”
  5. Waitematā Police have begun making inquiries. Detective senior sergeant Kim Libby confirmed that authorities are looking into the matter but declined to give any further comment or update. In the meantime, the Ministry of Education has urged the mother to follow the formal complaint process before approaching them if a satisfactory conclusion cannot be reached.
Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.
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