Authorities Declare No Crime Was Committed When Teacher Allegedly Taped Mask to Student's Face
A Wisconsin school teacher will not face charges after she allegedly used duct tape to secure a mask to a student’s face when he temporarily pulled it down so he could breathe.
A 13-year-old in Beloit, Wisconsin, described an incident he said occurred this week during an interview with Milwaukee’s WISN-TV. The eighth-grader, who was not named, said he was left feeling scared when his teacher wrapped tape around his head in order to secure his mask to his face.
When asked how he felt when a teacher, who was not identified, allegedly took matters into her own hands, the boy replied, “Scared.”
“So I pulled down my mask to my nose for a second … I said, ‘I can’t breathe, give me a moment,’” he recounted. “She got [clear] yellow tape, pulled up my mask up to my nose, and [taped] around my head at five — five times … sticking in my head. I’m like, ‘This is crazy. Why is she doing this?'”
The boy’s father, who was also not named in the report, said the teen came home from McNeel Intermediate School with a red mark on the back of his neck. He said he quickly called police.
“So talked to the police … All [the teachers] said was that they put a little piece of tape on his mask and then onto his nose and they said that they didn’t wrap it around his head,” the father told WISN.
The father added that his son now does not trust the school, and that he was traumatized.
“I’m very, very upset,” he said. “I’m going to keep pursuing this until my son gets justice.”
According to police in Beloit, however, there is nothing for them to pursue.
The Beloit Police Department issued a statement to WISC-TV alleging that the teen’s story was not consistent with other evidence uncovered, and that no crimes were committed.
“Our investigation shows that there was an incident regarding mask wearing in the classroom,” police chief Andre Sayles said. “We have interviewed the two teachers and all of the students who were present.”
“The information we have obtained shows that there were no violations of local ordinances or state law,” Sayles added.
Police also said there were inconsistencies in the account of what happened, but did not comment on what those were.
Police and the school district have both said that no crime occurred, but they are not done investigating. District superintendent Dan Keyser said that the focus is now on allegedly racist reactions to the report that a teen was forced to wear a mask with heavy-duty tape.
The district said the school’s staffers were the victims of “racist hate speech from unknown individuals and organizations.”
“We have zero tolerance for hate speech, violence or threats made against our staff and District,” Keyser stated. “We are cooperating with the City of Beloit Police Department in investigating these threats made against our staff and District.”
Police are reportedly looking into threats relating to the complaints against the district. Neither police, nor Keyser, offered any specifics about those alleged threats.
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