Tustin substitute is fired and reported to police, state panel for allegedly taping shut child's mouth
By SARAH TULLY TAPIA The Orange County Register, March 21, 2001
A Tustin substitute teacher was fired after allegedly taping shut the mouth of a first-grade girl and threatening to tie her up.
Parent Theresa Rodriguez said her daughter, Katie, didn't want to go to class Monday because she said a man had taped her mouth with "gray" tape Friday and warned he might tie her up. Rodriguez said her daughter was being disruptive in class.
Tuttin Unified School District Officials said they fired the teacher Monday, and the matter is now being investigated by Tustin police, Lt. Michael Shanahan said. Police and school officials refused to release the teacher's name.
"We take these matters very seriously, and we will not tolerate that type of behavior, " district spokesman Mark Eliot said. " We want to make sure this person will not be returning to Tustin.
The teacher had worked for the district since January. No other complaints were made about him, Eliot said.
The district forwarded the man's name to the Califormia Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which will investigate whether to revoke, suspend or take other action involving the man's license.
Barbara Moore, the commission's staff counsel, said she could not confirm whether it received a complaint about the substitute.
In general, teaachers can continue to work while an investigation is under way. The commission can immediately revoke a certificate only if a teacher is charged with a sex crime or some drug offenses involving minors.
"I want this man to be punished for what he did, " Rodriguez said.
The Orange Country Register