Elementary student called teacher’s bluff, so she taped him to a chair, principal says

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The teacher told the student what would happen if he did not return to his seat.

She would tape him to it.

When the second grader called his substitute’s bluff, she made good on her promise. The boy was taped to his chair and the teacher has been removed from the classroom, according to the principal of a Maryland elementary school, who said she was “shocked and appalled.”

The incident occurred Nov. 28 at Lake Shore Elementary in Pasadena, Md., according to a letter sent to parents by Principal Julie Little-McVearry, and shared by TV station WBFF.

The police and the Anne Arundel County school’s human resources department were contacted by Little-McVearry, who said in the letter that she learned about the incident from a parent.

The teacher, described only as a long-term substitute, was removed from the second-grade class and won’t be placed in any classroom “until this matter is resolved,” Little-McVearry wrote.

According to Little-McVearry, the teacher told the student she would tape the boy to his chair if he did not return to his seat.

The student found the remark funny, and the teacher proceeded to do as she said she would,” Little-McVearry wrote in the letter. “I was shocked and appalled upon hearing about this incident.”

Although the police have been notified, no charges have been filed against the substitute, WBAL reported, adding “charges are not expected to be filed.” The substitute teacher’s name was not released since no charges were filed, according to WBAL.

The incident “happened in a playful manner on both sides,” according to school spokesman Bob Mosier, who said this was the first assignment for the substitute who had been teaching the class since Oct. 26, the Capital Gazette reported.

In spite of Mosier’s assessment, Little-McVearry said there is no place in a classroom for this type of incident.

Our school is a place where every child is embraced, loved, and nurtured,” wrote the principal, who confirmed she is looking for another long-term substitute.

Although there won’t be any legal consequences for the substitute, her career could be in jeopardy, according to the county’s teachers’ association.

“We hope this can be used as a learning experience for us to ensure that substitutes are properly prepared for the challenges of the classroom. For now, the school system can’t say for sure if the teacher will be allowed to ever work in the district again,” read a statement reported by WBAL.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.