A photo of the incident sparked outrage from the school board and parents.
Earlier this week, a photo taken of a Pennsylvania teacher, specifically one at Pennfield Middle School sticking tape to a face mask and fastening the mask to a student, began circulating online. While the precise reasons and circumstances for this incident are unknown, the actions of the as-of-yet unnamed teacher drew heavy outrage from local parents.
“Pro-mask or anti-mask, I hope we can all agree that taping masks to children’s faces crosses the LINE. This was not a joke for the child or the parents,” wrote a poster to the Facebook group “North Penn Stronger Together.”
The response prompted the North Penn School District to conduct an investigation into the picture, as well as issue a formal apology on both theirs and the teacher’s behalf. “After an immediate investigation, it was determined that while the incident was isolated and no malice was intended, the actions of the teacher were entirely inappropriate and unacceptable, no matter the context,” district reps said in a statement.
An additional apology was provided by North Penn School Board President Tina Stoll at a school board meeting. “First and foremost I’d like to extend an apology on behalf of the district and the board of school directors to the student who was involved and to his family,” she said.
Pennsylvania middle school apologizes after photo of a teacher taping a mask to a student's face sparks outrage https://t.co/annCMFQnuj
— MSN (@MSN) January 21, 2022
The School Board has kept the identities of the teacher and student in the picture strictly confidential, though apparently locals were able to discern the identity of the student, bringing the incident up to local authorities.
“Certain individuals felt compelled to take matters into their own hands, including contacting local authorities and disseminating this image of my son to various media outlets,” the student’s mother said in a statement provided to the school board.
She added, “What has since transpired is like a scene from my worst nightmare.”