Goshen News, Goshen, IN

October 6, 2010

Woman says teacher duct-taped her son's mouth shut


MISHAWAKA — An Indiana mother claims that a teacher duct-taped shut the mouth of her third-grade son who has Asperger's syndrome, a mental condition on the autism spectrum.

Rita Burnett said her son told her it happened Thursday at Battell Elementary School in Mishawaka. Burnett filed a report Friday with Mishawaka police.

The report says Burnett claims the teacher made the child put duct tape on his own mouth, but Burnett says Tuesday that she told police her son indicated that the teacher applied the duct tape.

Gregg Hixenbaugh, the district's legal counsel, says the matter will be investigated internally and school officials will cooperate with law enforcement.

The case was forwarded to the St. Joseph County Special Victim's Unit.