An 11-year-old boy in North Carolina became the victim of his teacher’s misguided disciplinary measures when she put tape over his mouth during class. According to a report by WRAL, Catherine Webster received a selfie from her son, Brady, a sixth-grade student at Smithfield Middle School, on February 14th, 2023, which showed blue painter’s tape covering his mouth.
Webster questioned her son about the incident, and he disclosed that the teacher had done this multiple times to several kids in the classroom. He also stated that the teacher sometimes taped students’ wrists together. Webster immediately contacted Principal LaShunda Faison, who began an investigation.
The teacher was identified as Dawn Felix, who had started teaching at the Johnston County school in August. She resigned on February 17th, according to the school district.
After consulting with the district attorney, the Johnston County sheriff’s office determined that there was not enough evidence to warrant an assault charge.
Brady was not physically hurt during the incident, but his mother reported that he was “humiliated” by the incident. Although Brady can be chatty and a class clown, according to WRAL, Webster decided to speak out publicly after the investigations were completed to ensure that schools don’t allow similar punishments again.
The Johnston County Public Schools released a statement in response to the incident, stating that they take any allegations of staff misconduct seriously.
They confirmed that they respond swiftly to investigate allegations and, sometimes, remove staff from classrooms pending a thorough review. They also stated that school administrators are always willing to speak with parents who may have concerns regarding any issue that occurs.
This incident highlights the need for proper training of teachers on effective discipline strategies that do not include physical punishment.
Teachers must remember that their primary responsibility is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their students. Any form of punishment that humiliates, shames, or physically harms students is unacceptable and can cause lasting psychological damage.
It is imperative that school districts and policymakers prioritize training programs for teachers to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to create a safe and respectful learning environment for all students.
The parents need to deal with it themselves. The law, is worthless. That teacher should be in the hospital right now.
Shame is an effective part of punishment…
I do agree. We ALL have been also tempted to tape a child mouth at times.
Shame , discomfort and at times physical pain should be part of the set of tools we should allow teachers to administer to maintain discipline and a proper learning environment in class.
Instead of having parents dictate in their narrow mind set, what is to be taught in school or having a governor determine what part of history should be taught and which avoided to avoid “discomfort”, let us teach children what they need to thrive and progress in life.
If a parent want children to be taught a religion with no base in facts and be shelter from reality, let the parents pay for private school with their OWN money.
There’s a lot of gray area here, from abuse to suspension ( for the kid). There are always class clowns and talkers that can use a gentle reminder without being sent to the office every time. And if there are multiple incidents from the same or different disruptors, I don’t see “ humiliation “ as a problem. Maybe the kid should be sent home to bother the mother. But the teacher should have cleared her punishment with the principal.