A teacher and aide could lose their jobs over a February 26 incident involving duct tape and students in a remedial learning class that authorities are now calling a practical joke that got out of hand.
Oceanside Police were notified last week of the El Camino High School incident that was caught on cell phone video and launched an investigation.
It began when that same student wouldn’t stop talking during an in-class movie. The teacher finally said, “Maybe we should tape your mouth shut,” local ABC News affiliate 10 News reported.
Within a short time, the 14-year-old student’s mouth was reportedly taped shut. The teacher, an aide and other students allegedly joined in duct taping the disruptive student’s hands and feet. During the incident, which was reportedly caught on video, police say laughter can be heard and the student appears to be laughing and participating.
The seriousness of the incident was escalated when Oceanside Unified School District filed a notice of intent to dismiss the aide, according to documents obtained in a San Diego Union-Tribune records request.
A notice of suspected child abuse was filed and District officials notified San Diego County Child Welfare Services of the incident. Child Welfare Services was not immediately available for comment Tuesday afternoon. Oceanside Unified School District has declined to comment and an attorney for the district indicated litigation is anticipated.
The U-T reported that aide was apologetic in documentation of the incident, calling the actions a “momentary lapse in judgment.”
Beginning stages of police investigation have thus far determined the 14-year-old student affected was not humiliated, nor was there malicious intent and the duct tape was not applied tightly. Upon hearing that the teacher and aide’s jobs are in jeopardy, the teen expressed a hope that their jobs would be spared, according to 10 News.
The teen wrote in documentation of the incident, “Me and some kids were talking (sic) I got duck tape on my mouth and then we tape my legs and hands,” according to the U-T. His and five other student accounts were documented.
There was no comment about whether the teacher or aides are still employed at the school.
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