Teacher allegedly makes student duct tape mouth shut

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (KSL) – When you send your children to school each day, you expect them to learn, enjoy their friends and also feel safe.

A Utah mom felt like her son was anything but safe when he sent her a selfie from school.  When the mom first saw the photo, she thought it was a joke. She quickly learned that wasn’t the case.

With only three days left in the school year, students at Wasatch Junior High School are gearing up for the summer ahead. Tara Dimoh’s 12-year-old son is one of them.

“My son told me that the teacher was upset he was talking to somebody during class,” Dimoh said.

It’s what happened next that Dimoh says goes beyond a teaching moment.

“She came over to him and gave him a piece of duct tape and told him he needed it on his face,” the mom said.

So in the middle of his computer science class, the seventh-grader placed the duct tape over his mouth.

“He said, ‘You always told me to respect adults and my teachers so I had to and she was standing there mad. What was I going to do?’” Dimoh said her son told her.

The boy snapped a selfie and sent it home to mom. “It just … it blew me away,” Dimoh said.

Ben Horsley with Granite School District says this is a teacher with 29 years of experience. “This is a teacher who has been with our school district for quite some time … so it’s just a little surprising,” Horsley said.

It turns out Dimoh’s son may not be the only one with the sticky punishment. “We started to investigate this a little further and realized there’s potentially a handful of students that were involved,” Horsley said. “There are appropriate educator techniques and classroom ethical standards, and this doesn’t fall within any of those confines. We don’t find this behavior appropriate at all.”

Dimoh’s son wasn’t in class Tuesday.

“He was just like, ‘Why would she do this? Why would she do this?’ And he’s embarrassed,” Dimoh said.

Dimoh isn’t saying the teacher should get fired. She even continues to speak highly of the school. She just wants one thing.

“I want to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Dimoh said.

The teacher has been placed on administrative leave. A full investigation is underway to find out if more students are involved.

An official said it’s too early to determine what kind of discipline would be appropriate.

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