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Teacher's Aide Taped Kinder Student's Mouth Shut

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on September 30, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

What do you make of the elementary school teacher's aide who allegedly taped a Georgia student's mouth shut?

Some might consider this an acceptable form of corporal punishment, some might not.

Corporal punishment is a term used to describe physical discipline in schools.

Many states have outlawed corporal punishment entirely. Georgia is not one of them. But is taping a student's mouth shut going too far?

The teacher's aide in question reportedly placed the clear tape over the kindergartener's mouth when she wouldn't stop talking. The girl removed the tape after only a few seconds, but that didn't stop the aide from getting into some serious trouble.

Using tape on students is against school policy, and the aide was fired.

The debate over corporal punishment has intensified of late.

Is spanking children an efficient form of discipline or damaging to a child's psyche? Maybe a bit of both?

Many parents don't realize that different jurisdictions treat corporal punishment differently. While it's completely banned in some states, it's allowed in others.

But even states that allow corporal punishment usually have restrictions. Schools and school districts tend to have policies in place that dictate acceptable means of discipline. In this case, while Georgia allows corporal punishment, the taping was against school policy.

And soon it might be against federal law as well. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York has recently introduced a bill to Congress that would ban corporal punishment nationwide.

If passed, the ban would limit federal funding to states that continue to allow corporal punishment. Many would agree with the sentiment that taping a student's mouth shut is an unnecessary form of discipline. But is a federal ban necessary?

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