Furious parents are calling for a Pennsylvania middle school teacher to be fired after she was photographed taping a mask to a student’s face.
On Monday, a Facebook group called ‘North Penn Stronger Together’ shared a picture of a teacher at Pennfield Middle School in Hatfield taping a mask onto a male student’s face. The student’s age or grade is not known.
A parent elaborated on what was going on in the photo, commenting that the teacher placed masking tape on the child’s face without asking for consent, leaving him ‘mortified’ and resulting in him being made fun of for the rest of the day.
Outraged parents in the comment section demanded North Penn School District respond, even calling on the district to fire the teacher in the photo. The teacher has not been publicly identified.
‘Pro-mask or anti-mask, I hope we can all agree that taping masks to children’s faces crosses the LINE. This was not a joke for the child or the parents,’ the post said.
The district had put out a statement on Wednesday in response to the post, which has garnered more than 500 comments and nearly 300 shares in just the last week, calling the teacher’s actions ‘unacceptable.’
On Thursday, the mother of the child in the photo, who chose to remain anonymous, said the national attention the photo has garnered is ‘like a scene from my worst nightmare’ and that she only intended to share the photo with the local private group ahead of an upcoming board meeting.
The district said in a statement: ‘An image taken in one of our classrooms last week and circulating on social media does not represent the universal values that the North Penn School District strives to instill in both our students and staff.
‘After an immediate investigation, it was determined that while the incident was isolated and no malice was intended, the actions of the teacher were entirely inappropriate and unacceptable, no matter the context.’
The district added that ‘the matter is serious and it is being addressed with the employee’ but did not elaborate on whether the teacher would face any disciplinary action.
‘Certain individuals felt compelled to take matters into their own hands, including contacting local authorities and disseminating this image of my son to various media outlets,’ the mother exclusively told NorthPennNow.com, which said it vetted her identity.
She said she never gave anyone permission to share the photo and while she understands the good intentions the parents may have, the situation has ‘evolved into exactly what I wanted to avoid.’
‘If I had any idea that this would evolve to such a level, I would never have permitted it to be shared with that private group,’ she said.