School admits teacher duct taped autistic student in class

TEMPE, AZ (WFLA) – An Arizona father is furious after a teacher at his son’s school wrapped the boy’s legs in duct-tape. The father now wants the teacher arrested, but the school says the teacher had permission to do it.

Destin Howato’s 11-year-old son Armando has autism, and he has the mental capacity of a second-grader.

Howato says his son began going to Aces East School, in Tempe, about a month ago, KPHO reported. He said last week a teacher wrapped his son’s legs in duct-tape.

“This is a school that is supposed to be there for our special needs children,” Destin Howato, Armando’s father, said. “If this can happen to my son, it can happen to other people’s sons or daughters,” he went on to explain.

The school has released a statement admitting the teacher did duct-tape Armando’s shoes to his legs but asserts the child’s mother gave them permission because he repeatedly kicked them off.

“I’m furious. I’m mad. I don’t believe anybody’s kid should be duct-taped at all. I mean this is a school that is supposed to be there for our special needs children,” Howato said.

The teacher is on administrative leave pending their investigation.

Full ACES School Statement | From

“The ACES has received permission from the student’s mother to provide additional information regarding the alleged incident. 

On Friday, March 25, 2016, the student was kicking his shoes off repeatedly in the classroom creating an unsafe environment for other students.  To facilitate assisting the student with keeping the high top sneakers on his feet, the student’s mother gave the teacher permission to place duct tape on the student’s shoes. Unfortunately, unbeknown to the student’s mother and the school administration, ¼ inch to ½ inch of the tape came into contact with the student’s skin around his ankle. At no time were the student’s legs taped together nor was the student’s movement restricted. The student was not harmed in any way as a result of this incident.

The school has provided full transparency to the student’s parents, the Department of Child Safety and the Tempe police department. The school administration highly regrets the decision made by the staff member and is confident that at no time was the student’s safety or welfare at risk. 

It is against school policy to use duct tape on a student, for any reason. The staff member in question has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.  After the investigation has been completed, the school will take the appropriate disciplinary action including possible termination. The ACES sincerely regrets that this incident occurred.  Safety and respect for all students are our highest priorities.”

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