Lufkin teacher disciplined for taping talkative student's mouth shut

Javier Mijares and his mom Maria Mijares talk about the incident.
Javier Mijares and his mom Maria Mijares talk about the incident.
Lufkin ISD Superintendent Roy Knight
Lufkin ISD Superintendent Roy Knight

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – A Lufkin mother is angry after she says her son's mouth was duct taped shut.

Javier Mijares said he was talking in one of his seventh grade classes when his teacher, Jessica Cotton, taped his mouth for an hour and a half to make him stop.  The incident happened in September 2010.

The Lufkin Independent School District administrators found out about it this month and interviewed Javier.  Javier told his mother about the school's interview.

He said he was worried he would get in more trouble with his teacher if he told.  "It was hard for me to have the tape on my mouth because I couldn't breathe. It was very hard to and I had my retainers and it hurt," Javier Mijares said.

Javier is now in a different class.

School officials said they don't condone the behavior and the appropriate disciplinary action has been taken against the teacher.

Superintendent Roy Knight said LISD immediately began investigating and found the teacher had in fact used tape to keep a few students quiet.  "I agree completely with the parent. This was inappropriate, shouldn't have happened and is not our protocol for keeping kids from talking out loud in class. It was wrong, we shouldn't have done it. Where we're in disagreement with the parent is over the discipline for the teacher," Knight said.

Knight declined to comment specifically on any disciplinary action for an employee or student, however, he did confirm the teacher does still work for the district.

Mijares said Jessica Cotton did apologize to her, but not to her son. "They need to give her some time off or, you know, she needs some help."  Mijares said she wasn't sure if she would try to pursue criminal charges.

What do you think?  What disciplinary action do you think the teacher should receive?  Take our web poll.

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