Phoenix puts teacher on leave over taping incident

A Phoenix Elementary teacher is on paid administrative leave after she allegedly put masking tape around the periphery of four students’ armchair desks to keep them in order during state exams.

An investigation by Phoenix police found the teacher committed no crime in her unusual method of discipline.

“The report came in that the students were taped to their desks,” said Phoenix police Lt. Derek Bowker. “That was unfounded.”

Bowker said the students were being unruly and running around the classroom at the time. The teacher used the tape to show the children their boundaries, he said.

Phoenix-Talent schools officials continue to investigate the matter.

They said they don’t know when the investigation will conclude or whether the teacher will be disciplined.

Officials said they put employees on paid administrative leave whenever they receive a report involving the possible abuse of children.

“We always put the interest of children first,” said Cally McKenzie, Phoenix-Talent schools human resources director. “It doesn’t mean we think the teacher is guilty.”

The incident was also reported to the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare division, per district policy.

— Paris Achen

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