Despite the complaints of a number of angry parents and upset students, Colorado police say no crime was committed when a second-grade teacher taped shut the mouths of 28 kids.
Police were alerted to the incident by a concerned parent, after her daughter told her that her teacher at Fulton Academy in the suburb of Aurora put tape on her mouth as a joke on Thursday. The student told police the students were laughing and had asked to have their mouths taped.
When police interviewed the teacher, Aimee Martinez, she said she didn’t “think anything bad” when she put a strip of transparent packing tape on the 28 students’ mouths. She said the tape was meant to help them keep quiet and confirmed that the children requested the tape be put on their mouths.
"The incident did not meet the elements of any municipal violation or state statute," said Aurora police in a statement. Aurora parents, however, claimed the incident was bullying behavior.
“We send them here to be taught, not to be bullied by their teacher. It’s just not right,” says Elizabeth Martinez, who has four children enrolled at the school.
One second-grader from the class told Fox 30 Denver that classmates were upset when Martinez taped their mouths. “Kids were crying when she put on the tape,” said the 8-year-old.
Others said the tape made it difficult to breathe. “I breathe mostly with my mouth,” said second-grader Amilcar Arredondo.
“The package tape was this big and it covered my nose so I couldn’t breathe. When I took off the tape, the teacher got mad and put it back on me,” said another student, whose mother asked that she not be identified.
“I don’t want to go to school. I just don’t want nothing bad to happen to me,” one little girl said.
The Aurora Public School district said in a statement that they take the matter seriously and will conduct their own investigation. Martinez was given paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.