A Michigan band teacher has been placed on administrative leave after he reportedly taped a student’s ankles to her chair in an attempt to improve her posture. The teacher is identified as Brian Sullivan of Jefferson High School.
“If it was my daughter, I’d be upset, of course,” said Debbie Barron, whose child is in Sullivan’s class. “You just can’t do that kind of stuff to kids anymore. But I don’t think he should lose his job.”
Jefferson school superintendent Craig Haugen said the district is currently collecting information about the incident while Sullivan is on paid leave.
“The district is in the process of collecting information regarding the details to resolve the issue in a timely manner,” Haugen said in a statement. “The teacher is on paid administrative leave and may not have contact with any students in any manner or be on Jefferson Schools’ property.”
Though the incident is receiving significant public attention, a number of Jefferson High School students who witnessed the event say it is being blown out of proportion.
“This has been blown way out of proportion,” student Cody Boggs said. “I was maybe 5 feet away from the said 'incident.' It was a joke and should have never been anything more. He is easily one of the best teachers at Jefferson and deserves to be back in the classroom where he belongs.”
Many students have been vocal in stating their desire for Sullivan to return to the classroom. The school band has an upcoming competition at Disney World, and Sullivan’s absence puts the trip's status in jeopardy.
Nevertheless, Haugen reiterated that the school must take every precaution to ensure Sullivan’s behavior was appropriate.
“The safety and well-being of all of our students at Jefferson Schools is our top priority and we will do all we can to ensure that a safe, supportive learning environment is maintained at all times for all students,” Haugen said.