Pui Tak School Duct Taped Boy's Hands Together After He Lashed Out

12/15/2010 10:01 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A parent who sent his children to a Chinese Christian school in Chicago's Chinatown was outraged to find his four-year-old son's hands bound together with duct tape after a disciplinary problem.

Harold Irving, a former police officer, had enrolled his son and seven-year-old daughter at the Pui Tak Christian School, where students are taught to read, write and speak Mandarin Chinese while studying the Bible and learning mainstream disciplines like reading and math.

Irving was called to the school's office because his son was refusing to cooperate with instructors. He arrived to find his son's hands duct taped together.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports on the incident:

"I was stunned," said Irving, who's a former police officer. "I was absolutely stunned. I had never seen anything like that in 10 years as a police officer and my 44 years of life. I have never seen anything like that done to a child."

Irving filed a police complaint, alleging unlawful restraint, and contacted the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Irving said that when he asked the vice principal, June Gin, what happened, she told him that the boy was "swatting at them."

A spokesman for DCFS confirmed that the agency is investigating.

When Irving later spoke to Gin about the incident, she warned him that the lack of discipline his son exhibited "is how it ends up with kids getting guns."

For Irving, who is black, this was indicative of a racial element to the punishment.

"I can't think of any other race that they would have done this to," Irving told the Sun-Times. "If we don't stop stereotyping and demoralizing black boys, we will [perpetuate] the stereotype."

According to NBC Chicago, the Pui Tak School has said it is cooperating fully with DCFS.

The school, whose Chinese name means "instilling virtue," is associated with the Pui Tak Center, a community group that serves Chinese immigrants. Its principal, Sylvia Wu, was out of the country at the time of the incident.

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