Rosanna Salinas, the aunt and legal guardian of the child, told the school and local authorities that a teacher had tied her nephew to a chair with yarn for four consecutive days. According to local TV station KMPH, Salinas said the Backman Elementary School teacher admitted she had tied the boy to a chair in order to keep him in his seat.
"She was so nonchalant about it like it was a joke," Salinas told the news outlet.
Salinas did not find the humor and expressed outrage over the punishment.
"It's child abuse and bullying," she told local station KSEE. "He was scared of her. He was so scared that he couldn't even tell me."
The school district sent the stations the following statement:
Fresno Unified School District places the highest priority on the safety of our students and staff. The district's human resource department has a robust process in place regarding teacher and/or student allegations. While you can be assured that all matters of safety are taken extremely seriously, personnel matters and the outcome of the investigations, due to privacy laws, cannot be shared with the public.
The student has since been transferred to another class. However, Salinas is demanding that the teacher be reassigned.
The incident follows a string of reports of teachers restraining students as a means of keeping them in their seats.
In March, a teacher at the Friendship Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., allegedly taped a vision-impaired boy to his chair after he repeatedly left his seat during class. While the charter school teacher was initially put on administrative leave, she was ultimately terminated.
In another case, in November 2011, a middle school music teacher was accused of tying a disruptive student to a chair and taping the child's mouth shut. Though the teacher was suspended, no charges were filed since the prosecutor argued the teacher's approach was not a crime.
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