A North Carolina teacher had to resign after an 11-year-old student sent his mother a shocking selfie that shows his mouth covered with tape covering because talking too much in class. The shocked parent is now seeking answers over the incident that has left the child feeling humiliated.
According to Catherine Webster, her 11-year-old son Brady Webster, a sixth-grade student at Smithfield Middle School, texted the disturbing photo of himself on February 13 with painter's tape covering his mouth. She claims that her son may be talkative in the class clown, but she is upset with how the teacher, identified as Dawn Felix, allegedly handled his behavior.
Unlike a Teacher
Brady sent a text to Catherine in February with the message, "I don't know what to do," and a photo of himself in class at Smithfield Middle School in Johnston County with layers of blue painter's tape wrapped to his mouth.
Catherine uploaded the shocking photo to Facebook to highlight her experience of her son, who she described as a "chatterbox" with a "tendency to clown around" and his interaction with Dawn Felix, whom she refers to as "Mrs. Felix," according to a DailyMail.com report.
She said that a teacher had taped over her child's mouth twice or three times, which prompted Webster to inform LaShunda Faison, the school's principal.
"So, I asked, 'What is that? Who did that?' And he didn't respond," Catherine Webster said.
"Just layer after layer, there were some pieces that went right up to his lower eyelid," Webster said.
Brady said that his English and language arts teacher put the tape there.
"So, I showed the principal the photo, and she took us into her office," Webster said.
Following that, an internal investigation was launched. During the probe, Brady told Faison that the mouth-taping had been ongoing for several months and that other students had also experienced the same treatment.
Brady also said that Felix would often tape students' wrists together, Catherine told WRAL.
Forced to Resign
Following the investigation, Felix, resigned on Feb. 17 and reassured the school community they take allegations of "staff misconduct seriously."
"We can confirm that whenever such allegations arise, our administration responds swiftly, by investigating the allegations, and sometimes, by removing staff from classrooms pending completion of a thorough investigation," the district told WRAL.
"School administrators are always able and willing to speak with any and all parents who may have concerns regarding any issue that occurs."
"Just because Brady didn't get hurt doesn't make this less serious," Webster said, adding the incident left her son feeling "humiliated."
Felix is said to be a foreign teacher, but it's not known where she's from, according to a DailMail.com report. Since then, she has quit her job and has had her visa revoked, making it impossible for her to continue working in the United States.
Catherine expressed her desire that her post would "serve as an example" for other educators or caregivers who might be "walking a fine line" in their work.
She claimed that despite Felix reportedly using this peculiar punishment "on at least three students," she had "never met, seen, or received an email" from her.
"But apparently I should have, several times over, so that I could work with her to correct my son Brady's behavior in her class," wrote a concerned Catherine.
"His grades were good, so I had no reason to believe anything was amiss there because she never once reached out to me."
Brady, according to the mother of three, "enjoys entertaining his classmates" and gets along well with others, according to other teachers.