No Charges For Teacher Who Taped Students’ Mouths Shut
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Police in Aurora have finished their investigation into reports that a teacher taped her students’ mouths shut with Scotch tape and determined no criminal charges will be filed.
Police were called to Fulton Academy of Excellence in Aurora on Wednesday afternoon to investigate a report of child abuse.
Fulton Principal Jill Lliteras told officers she was aware of the incident and allowed them to interview the second grade teacher.
The teacher, who has not been identified, told police that as she was getting ready to take the class to the library she joked that, “Maybe if I taped your mouths shut that would keep you quiet.”
The teacher then told police that some of the children laughed and asked to get their mouths taped shut, even the child at the center of the child abuse investigation.
The teacher then told police that the Scotch tape was placed vertically across the center of their mouths that that it was only a small piece of tape.
When the children returned to class 30 minutes later the teacher said they were still laughing and in a good mood. The teacher told police the children wanted to keep the tape on their mouths even though they had returned from the library.
Lliteras told police she did not believe the tape on the children’s mouths violated any policy but did say she, “thought even placing tape as a prank on the mouths of children was not a good idea.”
Police said the teacher was in tears during the interview and looked at the children as her own and “would never do anything to hurt a child.”
When police interviewed the parents and the child who complained to police, the child said the tape was corner to corner on her mouth and that “it hurt when the tape was removed.”
The child also had saved the tape to show her mother. Police said there was no sign of any injury to her mouth and was not in pain.
The child also confirmed to police that the children did ask to have their mouths taped shut and that they thought it was funny.
The girl’s mother told police that her daughter is allergic to tape and that it could have caused her lips to swell.
After conducting those interviews police determined there was no probable cause to file charges or make an arrest.
The teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation. It is not clear when the teacher will be allowed back in the classroom.
Aurora Public Schools released this statement, “When we receive allegations of this nature we immediately contact the police and begin our own investigation. We do not condone any inappropriate adult conduct toward students and we cooperate fully with the police.”