Teacher allegedly tapes students’ mouths shut

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ELIZABETH, N.J. (CNN) - An elementary school substitute teacher has been fired after a 9-year-old girl accused the teacher of taping her mouth, and her friends' mouths shut with duct tape.

The student, Angelique Correa Henderson, said it happened during quiet time in her class on May 28. Her father learned about it when he asked her about her day at school.

"'My day was okay, Daddy, except for the fact that the teacher put tape over our mouths at quiet time,'" said Munford Henderson. "I said tape? What kind of tape? 'The kind of tape that you use.' I said duct tape? She said 'yes.'"

Angelique said it was difficult to breathe.

"It was very hard, because it almost covered my nose," she said.

The father contacted his daughter's regular teacher, who then notified the vice principal at Winfield Scott School No. 2.

The school district said it has notified the state and filed a report with Elizabeth Police.

As far as the type of tape used, the school refutes the claim it was duct tape. A school administrator said the incident involved minimally adhesive hobby tape, PIX 11 reports.

The father added this.

"It's a foolish thing to do. I feel that a teacher that was sworn to protect and teach kids, to do something of that manner to a young kid, to anybody.. I'm at a loss for words."

"Every time we talk about this thing, she starts crying, because it hurts her," he said.


  • Rhonda Herring

    Does it really matter what type of tape was used? NO it only matters that the teacher taped a childs mouth shut. I am glad the girl told her father and that he took it further.

  • bonnie morgan

    I am glad the girl told, a lot of kids would not tell. why cant the parents be called to deal with their own children…I would want to be called to correct my own children….

  • natalie hill

    this is horribe no teacher should ever do that. i personally think that that teacher should go to jail.

  • Jane W

    Since when is there legit, non-sarcastic outcry about a teacher putting tape over a kid’s mouth?

    Kid should shut up is my guess.

  • Branko Pezdi

    So what is the problem? It is an entirely appropriate punishment for a spoiled brat misbehaving in school. The liberal wussification of American society continues. No wonder government schools s-ck.

  • Edna

    Tape should never be used. If child is misbehaving they should be carried to the office. I agree teachers does not have enough authority to discipline childen but there is a correct way to do it.

  • Alysha

    The reason children act out in school these days is because they know the teachers are limited to the form of punishment they can inflict on a child. Same goes for society…we should go back to the old days where the children were taught to respect their elders and if they didn’t they got their butt whipped. There is a difference in beating a child and teaching them respect. As for the tape, it sounds to me like the child may have been exaggerating the case a little bit so that daddy would get the teacher in trouble. She didn’t seem concerned and crying about it until he threw a fit about it.

  • Stacy Peebles

    If they would make it HARDER to obtain a teaching certificate then maybe only the people who really want to teach children will seek the degree. It is simply to easy to become an educator of children and far too many people seek this job for the benefits and pay it offers with all the off time given. I have seen the time spent by my daughter to obtain her nursing degree…..make teaching just as hard and only the one’s who really want the career will seek it!

    • Carol T

      Unless you have been through college to obtain a teaching degree, how would you know how hard it is? I can attest to the fact that it is very difficult! Students in education courses cannot receive a D either, although a D is a passing grade. You must receive a C or higher, or you repeat the course. Also, you have to receive a C on both your projects/lessons and your tests, meaning you can’t bomb on tests and use your projects to give you a C average. If you don’t have a C or higher grade on tests, you repeat the whole class even if you have perfect scores on everything else! Also, while most college students are not generally graded on spelling, grammar and punctuation, students seeking an education degree are held to a higher standard. An education student has to pass a test especially for teachers, then the Praxis II and lastly, before you can graduate you have to take another test covering material from every class taken. This was at Athens State University. I graduated with honors in 2005, and it was the hardest thing I ever did in my life! And so you know, I was a non-traditional student and many of the younger students made much lower grades than I. One last bit of info, substitute teachers are often not certified, and I bet in AL they only require a high school diploma to sub teach.

    • Carol T

      I forgot to mention, what great pay? Is that why many teachers take part-time jobs in the summer? I have a 4 year degree, have to get CEU credits to keep my certificate (has to be renewed every 5 years) and beginning pay is probably less than $30,000 a year for new teachers in AL. Teachers buy supplies out of their own pockets and stay late for parent conferences, open house, etc with no extra pay. My brother has a 2 yr degree as an electrician and makes about 3x that of a new teacher, maybe a bit more.

  • Kim Vasquez Barndt

    A subitute teacher brings duct tape to school?? that alone is pre-meditated child abuse. To not know the children that your dealing with and scare them in this manner is child abuse. Children are suppose to feel safe at school, no terrorized. That teacher should be sitting in Jail with duct tape on there mouth

  • daniel

    the first question the father needed to ask was “Child were you and your friend not being quiet during quiet time”? If the answer is yes daddy than he should have whooped her butt!.

  • Rebecca Jarvis

    Stacy, Iam a pubic school subteacher, so allow me to school you on substitutes. Substitute teachers are not certified teachers. They are people who are certificated by the state. A degree is not needed for this position only 60 college credits are needed. Training is not usually given. Some are retired teachers, who are paid more for this position and some are are nut jobs who just need a job. The pay is low, there are no benefits, or pay in the Summer or holidays. In the district I work in a BA is required. my grad study to be a teacher was interrupted by a divorce, but because I love the children I serve, I remained working at this position and I am well regarded. But this is not always the case. By the way, it is very hard to become a certified teacher in NJ. It costs over 20,000, there are endless tests, monitoring, and a Masters is required if you can find a position, which is hard to find at this time. You are contracted for one year at which time you are brought up for review, and you might not make the cut. Also it now takes 5 years to be tenured.
    So, Stacy, when you speck about teachers, know what your talking about, and understand the distinction between teachers and substitute teachered, and honorary given at best! Rebecca

  • DT

    If the children had been given the tape to play with, where do you think it would have eventually ended up? On their mouth!!! Exactly! They would have laughed & had a big ‘Ole time! Don’t judge teachers so harsh – I believe every parent should put in at least a month of teaching, I promise you – this would be a big attitude adjustment – for the parents & hopefully their children!!! The Father should have disciplined his daughter for misbehaving & encouraged the other parents also! He should have whipped her butt & made her apologize to the teacher! I wonder, how does he discipline her at home when she misbehaves & doesn’t listen to him- I betcha he’s thought about taping that mouth himself, what do you think people? A little tape over the mouth is much better than screaming at your child & bullying them where they feel like they have to walk on egg shells when Daddy comes home from work – now THAT is abuse!!!!

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