Teacher accused of taping students to desks facing termination hearing

Teacher accused of taping students to desks facing termination hearing
The Greene County Tech School District is investigating, after a teacher at the primary school allegedly taped two children to their chairs this week. (Source: KAIT)

PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - A teacher with the Greene County Tech School District is fighting to keep her job following allegations she taped two students to their chairs.

According to a Wednesday, March 24, news release from the district’s attorney Rebecca Worsham, the administration announced “its intention to recommend the primary school teacher’s termination to the GCT school board.”

The teacher, as provided under the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act (ATFDA), has requested a hearing before the school board, Worsham said.

A hearing date has not yet been scheduled.

“The teacher will have the right for the hearing to be open or closed to the public,” Worsham said. “Because of the due process protections provided to teachers under the ATFDA, GCT cannot release further information at this time.”

The teacher, who has not been identified, is accused of taping two students to their chairs earlier this month.

The mother of one of those students, who asked she not be identified, said she did not find out about the incident until the day after when the principal called her.

“She said I can’t really tell you a whole bunch of information, all I can tell you is he was involved in an incident where it was taping thighs to chairs and that the district was investigating,” said the mom.

When the principal wouldn’t answer any other questions, the mother said she asked her 5-year-old son what happened.

“He says that his teacher taped him and one other boy, their thighs to their chairs because they were standing up near their desks.”

Her son told her the teacher threatened to tape them to chairs on Monday, before allegedly doing so on Tuesday.

The mom told Region 8 News she’s taking action against the school.

“I’ve filed a police report, we have contacted DHS, I have numbers for a few different lawyers that I’m going to contact to see if there’s a case to sue the school and the teacher,” said the mom. “I’m also going to file a complaint with the State of Arkansas Board of Education for an ethics code violation.”

Captain Brad Snyder with the Paragould Police Department confirmed there is an active investigation with the department on the case.

Snyder said in a statement, “At this time, I can confirm the Paragould Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division currently has an open case file on this matter. As the investigation is ongoing and in the very beginning stages, no information will be released at this time. Further information may be released in the future as the investigation permits.”

Greene County Tech School District released a statement regarding the incident on Friday.

On Wednesday, March 10, 2021, a concerned parent contacted Greene County Tech school district officials about allegations of a primary school teacher taping two students to their chairs during class. The district takes any allegation of this nature seriously, and the teacher is currently on administrative leave while GCT investigates the matter. GCT has reported the allegations to the Arkansas Child Maltreatment hotline and will cooperate with the Paragould Police Department’s investigation into this incident. Because of the due process protections afforded to school employees under Arkansas law, the district cannot comment on any disciplinary action it may impose against this teacher. GCT holds its employees to a high standard of professionalism and will remain focused on its commitment to creating a positive and safe environment for its students to learn and grow.
Rebecca Worsham, Greene County Tech School District attorney

The mom said she wants the school to act beyond the investigation.

“I would honestly prefer for this teacher to lose her job because if she is acting this way then in my opinion she doesn’t need to be teaching children.”

The mom spoke to Region 8 News in response to the school’s statement; she said the teacher should suffer the consequences of her actions.

I feel like the teacher should be on administrative leave without pay. She shouldn’t be paid to have a break at home after what she’s put kids in this class through. These kids weren’t laughing and didn’t think it was funny and she’s been getting away with horrible behavior for awhile. Other parents of kids have come to us where she’s mistreated their kids in her previous years of teaching. She willingly took on a profession teaching kids that are just coming into a school setting, its not easy, and she abused the power she was given and broke the trust of so many parents. Its wrong and she should finally suffer the consequences of her actions.

The mom told Region 8 News her son has not, and will not, return to the school until she and his dad think it’s safe for him to go back.

Region 8 News will continue to follow this story and update you as soon as more details are released.

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