Teacher Fired for Taping Kids' Mouths Shut During 'Game'

tapeThanks to the abundance of horrifying news stories lately, where the setting is often at school, parents are likely less apt to completely relax when sending their little ones off to the land o' learning. And now we've got something new to worry about: Substitute teachers. A substitute teacher at an elementary school in New Jersey has recently been accused of taping five students' mouths shut after they wouldn't stop chatting during the ever-popular adult pastime: The Quiet Game.

The teacher, who has no previous record of difficulties, has been taken off the list of subs for Winfield Scott Elementary School, and the father of one of the girls who had her mouth taped, understandably, is thrilled. "She does not need to be teaching and be around kids if she can't control her emotions and the way she presents herself around kids," Munford Henderson, the girl's father, said.


Parents learn to trust the teachers their children have been placed with. We, hopefully, feel that if anything, god-forbid, were to happen under the roof of the school, the teacher will be there to protect them. Teachers are so much more than educators, particularly when it comes to young kids -- they're the people who keep our children safe when they're with them. But what about substitute teachers? There obviously will be days when the person we're used to leaving our kids with is out. How can we trust substitutes, people who are virtual strangers to us?

Yes, many substitute teachers are certified teachers, but not all of them. And they may not have the skills and training to deal with every situation that arises -- particularly disciplinary issues (though you would think it's common sense not to tape a kid's mouth shut). Of course we don't have control over every single aspect of our kids' lives, but when you think about it, it's kind of a strange, slightly freaky concept: We're entrusting people we know literally nothing about to take care of the people who are most precious to us. Perhaps we should find out a little more about how our schools choose substitutes, and see if they conduct background checks on them?

At the end of the day, I think we can all rest assured that the odds of our child's sub taping their mouth shut with "decorative tape" are pretty slim. But geez: Way to freak out parents a little more. What a terrible, terrible idea.

Do you ever wonder about your child's substitute teachers?


Image via © David Selman/Corbis

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