California teacher accused of duct taping student's mouth

MORAGA, Calif. -- The parents of a Moraga 5th grader are suing Los Perales Elementary School after they say their child's mouth was duct taped by a teacher.

The families lawyer say the child's mouth was duct taped twice by a teacher in just one months time.

"On the first occasion, duct tape was placed over his mouth and face in front of his entire class," attorney Larry Cook said. "On the second occasion, the student was forced to put the duct tape over his own mouth."
After the boys parents complained, the school district reported the incident to Moraga Police, but no charges were filed.

Moraga Police Department Chief Jon King defended their initial decision.

"Recently, the young man who was involved was made available to us for an interview, and so (we) just conducted an interview with him last week," he said. "We will be taking that new information, along with the previous investigation, and reviewing it with the district attorney in the next couple of weeks."

The Moraga School Districts Superintendent Bruce Burns responded in a statement.

"At the time the first report was made, the district investigated the matter thoroughly and took appropriate action," he said. "The district understands that protecting our students has to be our highest priority."

The teacher was put on leave for a time last year but is now back in the classroom.

According to Cook, at the time of the alleged incident, the teacher warned other students in the class not to talk about it.

"This teacher made a statement to students and had apparently made this statement on other occasions, as well, that what occurs in this classroom stays in this classroom," Cook said.

The boy has since transferred out of the class and now attends a different school.
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