A teacher at Prairie Heights Middle School in Evans, Colorado is facing possible criminal charges after cell phone video caught her taping a seventh grade student to a chair.
The incident, which reportedly occurred last Tuesday, was captured by a fellow student on cell phone video, according to KCNC-TV. The video has not been released to the public, but has been given to the police, who have described the alleged contents of the video to local media.
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According to KMGH-TV, the video was turned over to the police some time Thursday, and is 13 seconds long. It reportedly shows a female teacher, who has not yet been identified, wrapping masking tape around the thighs and torso of an unidentified male student, and also placing a piece of tape over his mouth, which the child was able to remove.
Authorities told KMGH that the video itself was not considered to be enough to warrant a criminal investigation, but also stated, “However, after some interviews, specifically with the child involved in this, and others, the video taken into context with other information we have did raise our level of concern and it was clear that we needed to conduct a criminal investigation into this matter.”
Police say that the teacher’s actions were likely “punitive,” according to KDVR-TV. Evans Police Chief Rick Brandt told the station, “We were made aware of a situation where a student was potentially mistreated in the classroom. . . The school notified one of our officers of the alleged incident and we immediately launched an investigation. The video was alarming and gave us reason to probe the situation further.”
Charges have not yet been filed against the teacher, but two detectives have been assigned to the case.
Police suspect that other students may have also filmed the incident and are asking any students who have such video to contact the school’s resource officer.
The school district issued a statement indicating that the teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the police investigation.