Mother speaks out after EB Ellington teacher reportedly tapes son's mouth shut
CHARLESON, S.C. (WCIV) - The mother of a Charleston County student who claims a teacher taped her son’s mouth shut for talking in class says the boy’s teacher bullied her son.
With the teacher placed on leave, but school leaders denying that the incident happened the way she claims, Shayla Randall said Tuesday she’s unhappy with how E.B. Ellington Elementary School officials are handling the situation.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office says Randall contacted authorities Saturday to report the incident, in which she claims her son had packaging tape placed over his mouth by his second-grade teacher for talking in class Friday.
Randall says she was shocked by the allegations, based on prior experience with the teacher.
"We had already discussed my son's issues in the class,” Randall said. “And she was saying it’s hard for him to focus and things of that nature, but its still no reason for you to ever put your hands on a child."
According to other witness reports, the teacher eventually pulled the tape off the boy’s mouth and told other students she would do the same thing to them if they didn't stop talking.
"It made me feel like when she ripped it off, the tape, I yelled, 'Ouch!'” Randall’s son said Tuesday. “Everybody was laughing and I was embarrassed.”
Yet Randall says her son didn't tell her what happened when he got home Friday, later saying it was because he didn't want his teacher to get in trouble.
Randall says she found out about it all from other parents, who say their children told them about it over the weekend.
"I was angry because not that she actually did it, but the fact that my son cares enough about her to try to cover this up because he doesn't want to get her in trouble,” Randall said. “But it’s still something wrong."
According to the sheriff's office, Ellington Elementary’s principal denies the scenario described by Randall, telling deputies the teacher only held up the tape and showed it to students who were talking, and never put it on the child’s mouth.
ABC News 4 has reached out to the accused teacher and left a message but hasn't heard back.
The teacher has been placed on administrative leave, Charleston County School District officials say. She has not, however, been charged with a crime.