Sep 18, 2012 6:41 PM by Erin Steuber

Substitute teacher allegedly uses tape to keep 4th grader quiet

"We had an incident at J. Wallace James that involved a substitute teacher who was trying to keep a child quiet and didn't use very good judgement and put tape across the childs mouth," said Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper.
A Lafayette mother is pursuing criminal charges after she says a substitute teacher took drastic measures to keep her son from talking. The Lafayette Parish School Board is now filing a report with the Lafayette Police Department September 18. A substitute teacher apparently used tape to silence a nine-year old.
Michelle Droddy's son is a fourth grader at J. Wallace James Elementary school. On September 12 her son cam home from school and she realized something was not right.
"He was extremely upset, he just told me he didn't want to go back to school no more, and he didn't want to be friends with no one in his class, or the school," said Droody.
It took her nearly a week to find out what happened when she got a call from the principal. A substitute teacher had taped his mouth shut with what he thought was red duct tape. The tape is similar to masking tape that is used for arts and crafts.
"Now he has to face these same kids for the rest of the year that were sitting there laughing at him," said Droody. "The embarrassment and the shame that goes along with having someone you're supposed to respect that comes and duct tapes your mouth shut in front of everybody."
Cooper says they interviewed nearly 100 kids to find out what happened. He says it's completely inexcusable and the substitute will never be hired for anything in the parish again.
"It's very serious. Any time we treat a child outside the boundaries of our discipline matrix, and also just outside the boundaries of what seems to be common sense," said Cooper. "You just don't do that to children."
Cooper says a police report was filed because the incident could be considered battery.
"We feel like we've taken the necessary disciplinary action against that teacher, but the parent always has the right to file additional charges," said Cooper.
Droddy says she will be pursuing criminal charges. According to LPD PIO Paul Mouton there is officially a report filed. LPD is actively investigating the incident.


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