11-year-old North Carolina boy claims teacher taped his mouth shut

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 3:11 AM EDT
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JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. (WRAL) - A North Carolina mother was shocked at the selfie her son sent from school showing his mouth taped shut.

She says her 11-year-old son Brady Webster can be talkative and a class clown, but she is distraught about the way a Smithfield Middle School teacher allegedly handled his behavior.

“So, I asked, ‘What is that? Who did that?’ And he didn’t respond,” Catherine Webster said.

The text she got from her son on Feb. 14 from inside the school showed painter’s tape stuck across the sixth grader’s face.

“Just layer after layer, there were some pieces that went right up to his lower eyelid,” Webster said.

The boy says 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.

From there, an investigation within the school system began.

“It had been going on, you know, about two months, and it had happened to several kids in the classroom. And sometimes she tapes some kids’ wrists together. Sometimes she tapes their mouth,” the mother said.

Brady told his mother he was “humiliated,” and he was afraid to speak up because he didn’t want to question his teacher.

Johnston County Schools said the teacher, who was just hired in August 2022, resigned on Feb. 17, just days after the photo was texted.

“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 review,” the school system said in a statement.

The sheriff’s office also conducted an investigation as they said several allegations by other parents were made.

After consulting with the district attorney, the sheriff’s office decided there wasn’t enough to warrant an assault charge.

“It’s a very lucky thing that Brady doesn’t have some condition like asthma. I want to know who is going to be holding people accountable when they do things like this and make these errors in judgment,” Webster added.