Student's mouth duct taped, teacher resigns
By Tony Hensley
Heartland News, March 4, 2004

ORAN, MO -- A teacher has resigned - after allegedly duct taping a student to his desk and the parents still angry.

It happened inside the Oran Elementary School walls. A 21-year veteran school teacher allegedly binding a students hands, feet and arms to his desk. She went so far as taping his mouth shut. Larry Brindley, the students father says, “He's got a small airway and by taping his mouth shut he had problems breathing and he could have died."

14-year-old Tommy Brindley suffers from attention deficit disorder. A problem he has to deal since birth. Larry Brindley says, “Basically 8 or 9 years of his life he had a trach. We had the trach removed and his airway is still small. Smaller then what it should be for his age and he has problems breathing if he exercises real hard. So, by taping his mouth shut they stopped the flow of that air because he wasn't getting much through his nostrils."

Oran School Superintendent Tom Anderson says the teacher got the help of two students to help secure the seventh grader to his desk with duct tape. “You could see the black marks on his face. His face was bright red almost purplish color. Because, when they had the tape on his mouth he could not breathe. They had to take the tape off his mouth because he wasn't getting enough air." Jenni Heimer, Tommy’s sister-in-law said.

Superintendent Anderson says during his investigation the teacher voluntarily turned in her resignation. Tommy was in detention for being tardy three times. Larry Brindley says, “Tommy was acting up. He does that. But, that's no reason to duct tape a child." Larry also says, he and his wife are thinking about seeking criminal charges against the teacher. In the meantime, Oran superintendent Tom Anderson would not comment on any action taken against the two students involved.

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