A South Sound mom says she's furious that a Pleasant Glade Elementary School teacher taped her son to a chair in a classroom Tuesday.
The 7-year-old boy told his mother about it when he got home from school.
“He said, ‘My teacher taped me to my chair and called it a seat belt,’” said Jennifer Foux of Lacey. “He said, ‘And kids laughed at me, and made fun of me and made me embarrassed.’”
Foux said her son admits to standing up during class when he should have been sitting down. But she doesn’t think the teacher’s actions were appropriate.
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“He wasn’t running around; he was just standing there,” Foux said. “I’m really upset.”
Foux reported the incident to school officials, who investigated.
“Most likely the teacher will be given a letter of direction,” said district spokeswoman Courtney Schrieve. “It’s a summary of what was found out and directing some actions for the future.”
Foux said she contacted the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday evening, and a deputy urged her to try to resolve the issue with the school before filing a formal complaint.
But after meeting with school officials Wednesday afternoon, Foux said she doesn’t think the district is going to do enough to right the situation.
“I was told that it’s not something that she’ll lose her job for,” Foux said. “All that was said to me is that they promised me they won’t let her near my child.”
Foux said her son was emotionally shaken up by the punishment, which she believes took place for about half of the 90-minute block of class time. She said she doesn’t know what kind of tape was used.
“My son calls it green tape. I have no idea if it was masking tape or painter’s tape or what,” she said. “I don’t really care what kind of tape it was. I felt that it was child endangerment. It’s imprisonment. It’s bullying. What if there was an earthquake, or a fire or an emergency? It’s a safety issue.”
Schrieve said the district wants to work with the family to resolve the matter. However, its investigation differs from the mom’s allegations.
“What we’ve gathered was the child was moving about the classroom, and in an effort to remind him to stay in his seat, she placed a piece of masking tape across his lap,” Schrieve said. “It’s definitely not a behavior we condone, but the child was not harmed. It was a lapse of judgment, and we understand why the family is upset.”
Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 firstname.lastname@example.org