AURORA, Colo. -- An Aurora Public Schools teacher was on administrative leave Friday because she’s accused of taping shut the mouths of her 2nd graders Thursday.
And now students say a second educator is involved.
It happened at Fulton Academy of Excellence off 6th Ave. and Lowry Pl.
The second grade teacher told her students it was a joke before taping their mouths shut.
But students and parents say not only was it not funny, it’s bullying behavior at its worst.
“Our teacher went around with some package tape cutted it, put it on each kid’s mouth,” says one of the children in the classroom.
They are little voices speaking about what some parents call a big betrayal of trust from a second grade teacher.
“We send them here to be taught, not to be bullied by their teacher. It’s just not right,” says Elizabeth Martinez, a mother of four kids who attend Fulton.
Students say their teacher, Aimee Martinez, taped each of their mouths shut before going to the library.
“Kids were crying when she put on the tape,” says another 8-year-old student in the class.
Some kids said the tape made it hard to breathe.
“I breathe mostly with my mouth,” says student Amilcar Arredondo.
“The package tape was this big and it covered my nose so I couldn’t breathe. When I took off the tape, the teacher got mad and put it back on me,” says another student, whose mother didn’t want us to identify her.
Students say the librarian, Christina Padilla, did nothing to help—saying only it was cute.
Martinez told Aurora Police it was a joke—to help keep them quiet—saying all the kids asked to get their mouths taped shut. She said she didn’t think anything bad about it. She also told police she used Scotch tape.
“I’m a little bit concerned now about having my kids at this school,” says Guadalupe Cruz, who has a daughter in Martinez’s class.
And now some of the 28 kids fear going back to school.
“I don’t want to go to school. I just don’t want nothing bad to happen to me,” says one little girl.
Parents hope the school has learned a lesson—and perhaps offer teachers more training and a better support system.
“She is trying to discipline our children, our students, with tape. How do we discipline her?” says one parent, who didn’t want to be identified.
Besides placing Martinez on paid leave, Aurora Police did investigate. But an investigator decided it did not reach the level of child abuse or child neglect required for filing of charges.
Martinez will remain on paid leave until the school completes its investigation.