John Cabrillo elementary teacher alleged to have duct-taped student

3:58 PM, Mar 24, 2012   |    comments
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John Cabrillo Elementary School

SACRAMENTO, CA - Two John Cabrillo Elementary School employees have been placed on leave pending an investigation into an allegation a special needs student may have been inappropriately disciplined Thursday.

The father of the 10-year-old boy said his son's teacher and the teacher's assistant put duct tape on the boy's mouth to make an example to other students.

Floyd Vargas actually learned of the incident before his son had a chance to tell him.  The phone rang Thursday afternoon just as his son was returning from school.  The principal of John Cabrillo was on the other end, alerting Vargas that another child in the special education class had gone home upset with a story of the teacher and her aide reprimanding a young boy in the class, holding his arms behind his back and putting duct tape across his mouth.

Vargas said the news was so upsetting, he didn't know what to say.

"I was at a loss of words," he said. "She (the principal) said so was she  ...  You know you're sending your kid to school to be safe and now you have this happen.  I can't believe it happened."

School district spokesman Gabe Ross said the Sacramento Police Department and district are investigating. Ross issued the following statement:

Last night, the school district received information about two employees who may have used inappropriate disciplinary measures with a student in school. The Sacramento City Unified School District acted immediately in response to these types of allegations, removing the employees in question from campus and placing them on administrative leave pending a full investigation. Parents at the school have been notified via an automated phone message and a letter home to families is scheduled to go out this afternoon. The safety of students is our top priority and, should these allegations prove true, the school and the district will take the strongest possible action against these individuals.

For the time being, the boy's parents are keeping him home from school.


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