Parents in a Pennsylvania school district have expressed outrage after a photo of a school employee using tape to affix a mask to a child’s face went viral online. The school district has confirmed that the photo is genuine.
“Pro-mask or anti-mask, I hope we can all agree that taping masks to children’s faces crosses the LINE,” the Facebook group North Penn Stronger Together posted online Monday with the photo. “This was not a joke for the child or the parents.”
The North Penn School District confirmed that the picture is genuine.
“An image taken in one of our classrooms last week and circulating on social media does not represent the universal values that the North Penn School District strives to instill in both our students and staff,” the school district admitted in a statement Wednesday. “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.”
“We understand that the act of taping a mask to a student’s face is concerning to many and apologize that it occurred,” the district added. “The matter is serious and it is being addressed with the employee. However, all personnel and student matters are confidential and no further information can be provided.”
“The lack of good judgment and common sense demonstrated by this educator is shocking,” a spokesperson for the North Penn Stronger Together Facebook group told Fox News in a statement. “There is no justification for this action – regardless of whether the intent was playful, joking, malicious or something else.”
“The fact that our school district leaders did not immediately remove this educator from any classroom responsibility may be a bigger and more shocking offense,” the group spokesperson added. “Every district should take measures to ensure that this does not happen in their schools.”
Chuck Callesto, former candidate for Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, drew attention to the incident on Twitter. “Teacher at Pennsylvania’s Pennfield Middle School caught taping mask to young child’s face in class,” Callesto tweeted.
The North Penn School District serves the Montgomery County suburbs of Philadelphia.
More children have been hospitalized for COVID-19 due to the omicron variant of the COVID-19 disease than with previous variants. Even so, children are far less likely to contract the disease or experience severe symptoms. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 596 U.S. children between the ages of 5 and 18 have died of COVID-19 as of Jan. 19, 2022, or 0.07 percent of the 848,388 deaths in the U.S. population overall.
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