BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A mother is defending a substitute teacher who was banned from working in Jefferson County schools following reports that she taped several fourth-graders to their seats.
Kelley White said the incident at Pleasant Grove Elementary School was all in fun. White said her 10-year-old son became upset at how the event was being portrayed after seeing a television news broadcast.
"My little boy said they were laughing and cutting up," she said.
The substitute, whom school officials declined to identify, was banned Tuesday from teaching in Jefferson County schools. Nez Calhoun, a spokeswoman for the county school district, said the action stands.
Calhoun characterized the Monday's taping as an inappropriate attempt at discipline. School officials said four students were taped to their desks using Scotch tape, and another's mouth was taped shut.
According to White, a few children in the class kept getting out of their seats, and the substitute told them she'd tape them if they continued. She said the boy whose mouth was taped stood up in a chair, asked for tape and shut his mouth himself.
White said her son told her other students asked the substitute teacher to tape them to their chairs, and students who were taped were "breaking free."
Parents of two of the children who were taped said their children were distressed by the incident.