NEWS

Moncton teacher accused of taping teens together cleared

01/08/2013 06:35 EST | Updated 03/10/2013 05:12 EDT
Codiac Regional RCMP say no criminal charges will be laid against a Moncton teacher accused of taping two students together as a form of punishment for not getting along in class.

The investigation of the alleged November incident at Lewisville Middle School is complete and the teacher, who has continued working, has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, police said.

But Heather Smith, the president of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association, said the Department of Education will likely conduct its own investigation.

"The [Anglophone East] School District would have held off on any internal investigation while an RCMP investigation is taking place," said Smith.

"At this point, my understanding is that a policy 701 investigation will take place," she said.

Policy 701 is a protection of pupils policy used to investigate any allegations made against any adults working within the Department of Education system.

School district officials have declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

The teacher accused in the matter has also declined to comment.

In November, the mother of one of the teenaged girls allegedly involved, told CBC News her daughter came home on Nov. 7 with a bruised wrist.

The woman, who is not being identified, alleged the girls' hands were wrapped in paper towel, and then her daughter's right hand was taped to the other girl's left arm with hockey tape.

They were left taped together for an entire class because they weren't getting along, she claimed, referring to the alleged method of discipline as "corporal punishment."

The mother says she understands students will sometimes argue and get into trouble.

"But there's a way to deal with it. And duct taping, or taping, or whatever happened is not the way to resolve it," she said.

"You send them to the frickin', bloody principal's office and you let the principal deal with it."

The Department of Education's policy states that any complaints against a teacher will be thoroughly investigated in a confidential manner by the district.

But there was nothing confidential about how this case unfolded through social media. Parents posted pictures on Facebook of the girls' arms showing bruises and redness and hundreds of people posted comments on the allegations.

"The risk is that there could be allegations that could be published as facts that may not be factual and that is what this investigation with policy 701 will determine," said the head of the teachers' association.

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