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Harnett parent outraged over claims teacher taped child's hands

Posted April 8, 2011
Updated April 12, 2011

Frank Gibson is unhappy about the punishment a teacher enforced on his son.

— A Harnett County father is outraged after he said a teacher taped his 5-year-old son's hands together. 

Frank Gibson said a teacher's life lesson went too far at Boone Trail Elementary in Lillington. Gibson said his son snatched a rubber stamp off his teacher's desk, placed it in his pocket and then back on the desk.

Gibson said the teacher then asked the kindergartner, “What happens when you steal?" His son answered, “You go to jail.”

That's when, Gibson said, the teacher wrapped tape around the boy's wrists like handcuffs.

"She didn't bind them behind his back, she bound him over his head," Gibson said. "Even if she was trying to make a joke, it's not funny." 

Another student who saw it happen told an art teacher.

The kindergarten teacher, whose name hasn't been released, was placed on leave with pay after the alleged incident was reported March 30, officials said. The school began an investigation. 

But Gibson said he didn't know about the incident until six days later when the principal called. 

"I don't understand what kind of an investigation you had going. The parents should be involved with anything with their children. It is not your decision," Gibson said. 

Patricia Lewis, a spokeswoman for Harnett County Schools, told WRAL News that it took almost a week to notify Gibson because there were lots of students and teachers to interview. She said because the allegation was brought by another student to another teacher, school administrators had to confirm who was involved. As soon as it was confirmed what student was involved, the parents were notified, she said. 

Gibson said he is also upset that the teacher was placed on paid leave.

"You can call it administrative leave all you want, but she does not deserve to get paid for taping a child’s hands and get two weeks of vacation," he said.

Gibson thinks the school mishandled the incident and perhaps the teacher should be given a dose of her own punishment. 

"Once they even thought about suspending her, the police and authorities should have been called. She should have been handcuffed and taken to jail, just as I would have myself if I had taped a child and someone else had caught me," Gibson said. 

Lewis did not know long the investigation would take. If it is determined the teacher bound the child's hands with tape, the superintendent would decide her punishment.  


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  • MiXeddAloT Apr 14, 2011

    Parents can't take time to admit their child has issues. When they "know" they do. She tried to prove a point, and people go overboard like she tried to hurt the child. It's ok though, god is with her and always will be. She is loved by the lord, and others.!

  • mad_dash Apr 11, 2011

    She did not do this to be mean to the child. The child had been stealing stuff off her desk. He did not just pick it up, then put it right back. Regardless it was a BAD judgement call on her part. Im just sorry that she will prolly loose her job over it.

  • rhalinalynn Apr 11, 2011

    I would be outraged if this happened to my child.
    * dar1taylot*---- I think that it is never a teachers place to teach a child a lesson like that. You sit down and talk to the child about what the consequences of stealing are. You don't tape their hands together in any manner. I believe that is a form of abuse. When there is any type of investigation involving a student...their parents should be notified immediately. Not 6 days later.

  • Just plain Apr 11, 2011

    I think the teacher and the principal over reacted. This should have NEVER happened. The teacher should have sent the child to the principals office. The principal should have called the parents right away. If this was her child, she would be upset that it took six days to find out. If I was that parent, I would not stop until I had the teacher and the principals jobs. No matter what interviews had to be held the parents should have been notified as to what happened to THEIR child right away. Information about your child should never be withheld for any given amount of time.

  • dar1taylor Apr 11, 2011

    I am on the teachers side of this one. It was a good leason for the kid...Parents should be glad the teacher is pointing out the what would happen when a person steals.

  • carrboroyouth Apr 11, 2011

    "She should have been handcuffed and taken to jail, just as I would have myself if I had taped a child and someone else had caught me," Gibson said."

    Can you say overreaction?