A seventh-grade special education teacher from Pennsylvania may lose her job after she glued duct tape to a student’s mouth and demonstrated “condemnatory” behavior, the school board said.
According to resolution of charges from the Cotsville County School, Audrey Ritter applied a piece of duct tape to the student’s face on May 4 and wrote on the tape the words “I have nothing good to say”.
Ritter, a North Brandywine high school teacher, put the tape on the student’s mouth because she was “excited and swearing,” the resolution said.
Teacher said she was “joking” when she attached the tape to the lips of a student with whom she said she had a “good relationship,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. She said the student sat in her class for another two hours and didn’t seem upset.
According to the school board, the student felt “humiliated” and asked the principal if she could be released from Ritter’s classes until the end of the day.
The resolution states that Ritter then began tracking down the student in other classes and interrogating her in the middle of class.
“When (Ms. Ritter) realized that (her) behavior could cause (her) trouble, (Ms. Ritter) began threatening revenge on the student,” the indictment said.
According to the school board, Ritter discriminated against a student who is black on racial grounds. In addition, the prosecution considers her actions more “convicting” because the high school student has a disability and a special curriculum that violated Ritter’s behavior.
“Although the behavior (Ms. Ritter’s) as alleged in this paper would be considered outrageous regardless of the student involved, it is even more reprehensible due to the fact that this is a student with disabilities and (Ms. Ritter) knew that she was agitated earlier this week (Ms. Ritter) was involved in the alleged conduct here, ”the resolution said.
Ritter told The Inquirer that she was trying to find a student to find out why she missed classes, and didn’t realize that the duct tape upset her.
“The cant was not the right vehicle, absolutely,” Ritter told the media. “Do I deserve this punishment? Absolutely. Do I deserve dismissal? No. ”
The Indictment was approved at a school board meeting on May 24 by seven votes to two.
Ritter was dismissed from teaching in the county, according to the Inquirer.
She also the president Teachers Association of the district, according to CBS.
Ritter told The Inquirer that she used her knowledge as a special education teacher when dealing with an “excited” student.
“That’s how I know humor works,” Ritter told the paper. “If a student had shown that he was excited or upset by my actions, that would not have happened.”
The next step in the disciplinary process, according to the resolution, is a hearing at Ritter’s request.
The county did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News.
Coatesville is approximately 45 miles west of Philadelphia.