Thursday 13 December 2018

Teacher struck off after allegedly taping schoolgirls' mouths with Sellotape

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Anne-Marie Walsh

A teacher has been struck off after being found guilty of taping up to five schoolgirls’ mouths with Sellotape.

Following the first public teacher fitness to practice inquiry, a panel of the Teaching Council’s disciplinary committee has removed the teacher’s name from the professional register.

It follows an incident involving sticky tape being applied to the girls’ mouths at an unnamed school when they would not stop talking six years ago.

The teacher’s removal from the professional register means she cannot work in a state-funded position.

The council said its disciplinary panel found the teacher guilty of professional misconduct for applying Sellotape and or causing Sellotape to be applied to the mouths of five students.

It said the teacher, who has not been identified, is not eligible to apply to be restored to the register for a year.

The decision was confirmed by the High Court last August.

The teacher, who was not present at the hearing disputed the allegations and claimed the children taped their own mouths.

A disciplinary hearing last November heard that pupils were crying and had red marks on their faces after the sticky tape was applied.

During the inquiry, held in Maynooth on November 8 last year, the five schoolgirls said their mouths were taped shut by a substitute teacher in fifth class when they did not stop talking.

"I was scared and shocked," said one of the girls as she recalled the incident.

The girls, who were between 15 and 16 at the time of the hearing, said there were six boys and five girls in a maths class.

They admitted that all the pupils were talking and messing and that they did not stop talking despite the teacher telling them to "whist" a number of times.

They said the substitute teacher, who had started at the school two days previously, said she would Sellotape their mouths if they didn't stop talking.

"She could not control the class. We kept talking," said a 16-year-old.

The inquiry heard that the teacher placed Sellotape on the lips of two of the girls and instructed the other three girls in the class to put Sellotape on their own mouths. It remained on the girls' mouths for up to 30 minutes until the class ended.

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