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Swedish teacher taped toddlers mouths shut

Published: 04 Nov 2012 11:17 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Nov 2012 11:17 GMT+01:00

A teacher at a kindergarten in Hyssna in the west of Sweden taped shut the mouths of four children because they were being loud.

"This is a question of violation and physical assault," Sussie Pettersson and Sandra Börjesson, the mothers of two of the boys whose mouths were taped, told the Expressen/GT newspaper.

"We can hardly believe it happened," they continued.

Börjesson found out about the incident when she picked up her three-year-old son from the kindergarten. The teacher joked about having taped his and other children's mouths because they were being noisy.

"She told me how she had first said to the children: 'If you don't calm down I will tape your mouths shut'. When they didn't calm down she wanted to follow out the threat," said Börjesson.

A few days later the three-year-old told his mother that he wanted to tape her mouth shut.

"What if he had a younger sibling and tried to do the same to them? It could have had devastating consequences."

Pettersson said the teacher had told her about taping shut her four-year-old son's mouth, too, but she was too shocked to react on the spot.

"I work within child care myself and this is completely unthinkable. My son told me it hurt when the tape was pulled off his mouth," said Pettersson.

The two mothers feel that the kindergarten principal has not taken the incident, which occurred in September, seriously enough.

A protocol from an internal meeting at the kindergarten cites the principal as saying that the teacher should not have told the parents about the incident.

The principal and the teacher, who is a recent graduate, have expressed regret over the incident.

The case has been referred to the union which will determine whether or not the teacher will receive a written reprimand in addition to the verbal warning. According to the principal the teacher has also been assigned a mentor.

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Your comments about this article

11:52 November 4, 2012 by DAVID T
haha - should have used duct tape and a lead pipe
18:39 November 4, 2012 by Mr G
Cell tape being primarily used to fix cells? Or did you mean Sellotape?
21:27 November 4, 2012 by Decedo
....and who say socialistic state run daycare doesn't work :P
21:48 November 4, 2012 by tuerd1982
this is unacceptable, the teacher should heavily punished. How one can do such thing to three years old?
22:37 November 4, 2012 by Flygger
@tuerd1982 I can't say I agree with taping their noisy mouths over but what can you do ?? You are quick enough to condemn but what would your solution have been. Perhaps try reasoning with a 3 year old, hmm ??

And what do you deem as "heavily punished" ?

@DAVID T Duct tape and a lead pipe is a bit heavy handed don't you think.. Well it is in front of witnesses I found out.
02:56 November 5, 2012 by Borilla
#s 1,2,3 and 5 don't seem to take this very seriously. Gentlemen your viewpoints reflect and the numbers assigned to your comments clearly reflect your IQs. The taping is not something that should have been done; moreover, the principal's position that the teacher's mistake was to tell the parents what was done is quite worrisome.
08:25 November 5, 2012 by robban70226
That solve the problem, but next time they used duct tape
14:35 November 5, 2012 by Stolpskott
All jokes aside (there are times when I have seen teenagers "restrained" with copious quantities of duct tape, and I found those very funny), subjecting a 3-year old to this kind of punishment is overkill.

Having said that, if the child does not have an undiagnosed or unmedicated ADHD conditiion, it sounds as though the parents are not doing any kind of job at setting boundaries for their children, so when the children leave kindergarten and start at a school level where there is organised teaching going on, the behaviour of the children will disrupt the entire class so their behaviour does need to be addressed.
18:00 November 9, 2012 by StinaRT
This teacher should be fired!
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