By Jamie Leary
EVANS, Colo. (CBS4) – An Evans middle school teacher is on administrative leave after she allegedly taped one of her students to a chair.
The teacher allegedly used masking tape to restrain the student by his ankles and torso. She also placed tape over his mouth.
Evans Police Chief Rick Brandt says the incident happened Tuesday during class and was reported right away.
It was all captured on video by another student.
Investigators are not releasing the video until but during a news conference, Friday, the chief addressed it.
Alone, he says the 13-second recording wasn’t enough to launch a criminal investigation but that changed after speaking to the victim and others.
He told reporters of the video, “No clear conclusion can be drawn as to exactly what we’re dealing with.” Chief Brandy continued, “so by itself [it’s] concerning, but not raising to a level of alarm; however after some interviews with the child involved and others, taken in context with other information we have, did raise our level of concern.”
The school principal, Principal Dr. Dawn Hillma, sent the following letter to parents Thursday:
To our Prairie Heights families:
Today, a seventh grade teacher was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a criminal investigation by the Evans Police Department. A student reported that the teacher had taped the student to a chair around the legs and torso, as well as placed tape over the mouth. A videotape of this incident does exist and has been turned over to Evans Police.We are working closely with the Evans Police Department on their investigation. We will provide more information when the investigation is completed
If your child is concerned about this incident and needs to speak with a counselor or and administrator, please encourage them to do so. We are working directly with the students in the class who may have witnessed this incident
Please know that the safety of your children is always our primary concern and we encourage all our students and families to report any incidents where they feel a child may have been put at risk
CBS4 spoke with several students who defended the accused teacher and have started a petition to keep her in school.
Charges have not been filed.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.