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Students told to place duct tape over their mouths for speaking during class

(Family photo)


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SALT LAKE CITY — 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.

"He told me that the teacher was upset he was talking to somebody during class,"Dimoh said.

It's what happened next, she said went 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 like, 'Here you go,'" Dimoh said.

On Monday, 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 (do it) and she was standing there mad. What was I supposed to do?'" Dimoh said.

He snapped a selfie and sent it home to mom.

"It just blew me away," Dimoh said.

Dimoh said she estimates her son wore the duct tape for about 40 minutes until class was over.

"This is a teacher who has been with our school district for quite some time," Ben Horsley with the Granite School District said. "It's just a little surprising."

Horsley said this is a teacher with 29 years experience in the classroom.

Horsley said as they began investigating, they found Dimoh's son wasn't the only student given the sticky punishment.

"We realized there's potentially a handful of students that were involved," he said. "There are appropriate educator techniques and classroom ethical standard. This doesn't fall within any of those confines. We don't find the behavior appropriate at all."

The teacher was back in class Tuesday. Dimoh said she didn't feel comfortable letting her son return.

"He's embarrassed," Dimoh said. "He was already having a hard year."

Dimoh said she's not looking to get the teacher fired. She even continues to speak highly of the school. However, she is looking for one thing.

"I want to make sure this doesn't happen again," she said.

The teacher was placed on administrative leave after school on Tuesday. Horsley said the district will be conducting a full investigation. They want to know if this has happened before and how many other students were affected. He said it's too early to determine what kind of discipline the teacher will face.

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Ashley Kewish

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