​Teacher Taping Mouths Shut Placed On Temporary Leave

Author: Jennifer HongBy:
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May 6, 2013
Also: Aurora Public Schools, Elizabeth Martinez, Fulton Academy of Excellence, Mouths, Taping, Teacher, Teacher Taping Mouths

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A Colorado teacher has been placed on administrative leave Friday because she’s accused of taping shut the mouths of her 2nd graders Thursday. And now students say a second educator is involved.

It happened at Fulton Academy of Excellence, which is part of the Aurora Public Schools system. The second-grade teacher told her students it was a joke before taping their mouths shut.

But students and parents say not only was it not funny, it’s bullying behavior at its worst.

“Our teacher went around with some package tape cutted it, put it on each kid’s mouth,” says one of the children in the classroom.

They are little voices speaking about what some parents call a big betrayal of trust from a second-grade teacher.

“We send them here to be taught, not to be bullied by their teacher. It’s just not right,” says Elizabeth Martinez, a mother of four kids who attend Fulton.

Students say their teacher, Aimee Martinez, taped each of their mouths shut before going to the library.

“Kids were crying when she put on the tape,” says another 8-year-old student in the class.

Some kids said the tape made it hard to breathe.

“I breathe mostly with my mouth,” says student Amilcar Arredondo.

“The package tape was this big, and it covered my nose, so I couldn’t breathe. When I took off the tape, the teacher got mad and put it back on me,” says another student, whose mother didn’t want us to identify her.

Students say the librarian, Christina Padilla, did nothing to help, only saying it was cute.

Martinez told Aurora Police it was a joke, to help keep them quiet, saying all the kids asked to get their mouths taped shut. She said she didn’t think anything bad about it. She also told police she used Scotch tape.

“I’m a little bit concerned now about having my kids at this school,” says Guadalupe Cruz, who has a daughter in Martinez’s class.

And now some of the 28 kids fear going back to school.

“I don’t want to go to school. I just don’t want nothing bad to happen to me,” says one little girl.

Besides placing the teacher on paid leave, Aurora Police did investigate the taping incident, but an investigator decided it did not reach the level of child abuse or child neglect required for filing of charges.