Lowcountry elementary school teacher accused of taping 7-year-old's mouth shut

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A second grade teacher at E.B. Ellington Elementary School is on administrative leave after being accused of taping a 7-year-old student's mouth shut.

The alleged incident happened on Friday at the school in Ravenel.

A Charleston County Sheriff's Office report states that the principal told investigators that the incident was already under investigation and that the teacher held the tape up, but never used it on the victim's mouth.

Shayla Randall, the parent of the student involved in the incident, filed a report with the sheriff's office on Monday.

She says she was alerted about the incident from other parents who have children in her son's class who recounted what happened.

"I was really in shock. I honestly didn't know how to feel," Randall said."I was angry. I was hurt. But more so, I was disappointed in the safety of our children at the school."

Randall said in the report that her son was hesitant to say anything at first after being asked if anything happened at school.

"He basically told me that he was scared," Randall said."He said that if he were to say something, he wouldn't be heard...he really didn't want to get her in trouble."

According to the sheriff's office report, after several questions, the victim stated his teacher put tape over his mouth to keep him from talking.

He said it hurt when she pulled the tape off and that it was a large piece of packing tape.

Two other parents gave statements for the report filed with the sheriff's office.

According to the report, a parent says her daughter told her over the weekend that the teacher put a large piece of packing tape over the victim's mouth, removed it and told the other students the same would happen to them.

Several parents were at the District 23 Constituent Board Meeting on Tuesday night expressing their list of concerns with the school stemming from the start of the year. The board was hearing about the issues for the first time and the members are planning to reach out to the superintendent to schedule a meeting to address the concerns.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office says they have not made any arrests in the incident and that the investigation is still ongoing.

"I just really hope that this brings awareness to all the parents that even when you think that everything is okay sometimes it's not," Randall said."You need to reach out to the proper channels."

There were multiple parents in the meeting who say there children will no longer be attending E.B. Ellington Elementary School because of leadership and safety concerns.

Randall has a lawyer, but it has not been determined if her family will take legal action.

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