Another ‘Sellotape’ teacher is promoted
Second teacher who taped child’s mouth is now a deputy principal, and hearing into f irst case may not be made public
A TEACHER who allegedly sellotaped shut the mouth of a pupil, has been promoted to deputy principal of the same primary school, the Irish Mail on Sunday has learned.
The shocking revelation comes as the Teaching Council of Ireland this week investigated a complaint against another teacher who allegedly sellotaped the mouths of five pupils in an unnamed school.
In the Council’s first ever fitnessto-practise inquiry, the girls said their mouths were taped by a substitute teacher in fifth class when they were ‘giddy and messing’.
The Irish Mail on Sunday has learned that this is not the only alleged incidence of ‘taping’. However, while the first alleged incident led to a complaint to the Teaching Council, the second saw the teacher kept on staff – and subsequently promoted.
The school in question declined to comment when contacted this week.
A parent at the school said she shocked when the incident happened four years ago.
‘My daughter came home and told me the teacher had put sellotape on the mouth of a boy, and I thought she was joking. We just couldn’t believe it. It’s like something out of Victorian times,’ she said.
‘But the school gave her another chance and she’s now deputy principal, although the boy has left.’
The board of management of the school discussed the issue on several occasions, but no sanction was taken against the teacher, according to another parent. ‘There was a feeling she was young and made a mistake,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Teaching Council admitted to the MoS that the results of the first fitness-to-practise hearing may never be made public.
The female teacher involved faced allegations of professional misconduct relating to the incident, which happened in March 2012.
‘I was scared and shocked,’ said one of the girls giving evidence this week. Another girl said she thought the threat to tape the girls’ mouths was a joke, but when the teacher actually did it, she became scared.
The girl, now 17, said the pupils agreed a plan: one would ask to go to the toilet, but would alert the principal instead.
The teacher allegedly refused to let them leave the room.
The teacher failed to turn up to the hearing and was not represented. In a written statement to the Council, she rejected the allegations, saying the girls taped their own mouths – which they deny.
The hearing concluded on Wednesday and the panel met to consider their judgment on Thursday. The public may never find out the results of that investigation.
‘After an inquiry concludes, the panel will consider whether a sanction should be imposed on the registered teacher,’ said a Council spokesman.
‘Under the Teaching Act, it is a matter for the Council to decide if it is in the public interest to publish the findings of the Panel, and any sanction decided on by the Panel.’
Commenting on the second alleged incident, a Department of Education spokesperson said it was, ‘the responsibility of the relevant school authority to ensure the procedures for dealing with child protection concerns are followed’.
However, it added that school authorities are not required to report protection concerns ‘in respect of their employees directly to the Department’.
A spokesperson for the teaching council said it does not comment directly on complaints.
‘Taped up when giddy and messing’ ‘It’s like something out of Victorian times’