One Does Not Simply Tape the Alice

April 9, 2012

So I was pulled aside this morning by the manager and the director of our daycare to tell me there was an incident on Friday.  Alice’s teacher taped her to a chair.

Oh yes.  Taped to a chair.

That said, filling in the details is needed.  One strip of thin masking tape around her waist only.  Not out of a temper fit but more a misguided attempt at creative discipline for furniture climbing.  She busted out fast.  The teacher reported herself (I guess once it sank in that taping a kid to a chair REALLY REALLY sounds bad.)  The daycare told me the first chance they could do so in person and basically begged my forgiveness.  The teacher has been suspended and I think the daycare has self-reported to the state licensing board.

Makes me feel almost sick.  Not because my girl was taped to a chair.  For god’s sake, yesterday I was looking around for some rope so I could tether her to a fixed object by her ankle.  (Yes, I really thought about this.  Just like a little leash for while we weeded the garden so she’d stop RUNNING TOWARDS THE ROAD.)  People leash kids all the time.  No, you shouldn’t do it in a daycare context, but honestly, I am absolutely positive she was neither hurt nor afraid*.  Without consequences, it’s just a stupid mistake.

The daycare has never ever had a problem with this teacher in her seven years there.  She feels awful and the director told me she cried.  She wants to come in and apologize in person but they wanted to talk to me first.

It took an hour or so to absorb (and I talked to Sean) but we came to the same conclusion- no harm, no foul.  And we’re both worried about the teacher losing her job.  A is the third kid of ours through her class and she’s one of our favorite teachers there.  I also don’t want her or the daycare in trouble with the state.  I already told them we were fine, but tomorrow I’m going to chase them down and ask about the state inspection they’ll have to undergo for this- and whether I can say something on their behalf.  As the mother of the supposed victim (yeah, she’s super traumatized), someone who’s been using the center for five years and four kids, and a lawyer, I think they’d listen.

I just feel awful for the teacher.  One lapse in judgment, she didn’t actually hurt the kid (grabbing A to stop her from running headlong into another kid probably hurts much worse), and all this blows up.

In other news, I plan to tell A about this sometime around her 16th birthday.  Perhaps the same day I tell her she once killed a chicken with her bare hands.


*I’d feel differently if we were talking about a different kid.  R, for example, is going through a sensitive phase and would be very embarrassed.  A is the honey badger.  She don’t care.


12 Responses to “One Does Not Simply Tape the Alice”

  1. neefp said

    This will be another classic Alice story some day – her future man better watch out

  2. Deb Warren said

    Sounds like a “wit’s end” intstance to me…not that it excuses it, but I can see both sides. There have been times I’ve wanted to string mine up by the toenails….and if there wasn’t a law against locking my teenager up until he was the age of majority, well let’s just say he’d be causing less trouble. That said, you know your child and their teachers. While yes, there is a procedure that has to be followed, I think your having a say so should make a difference.
    I hope everything works out. And that you’re logging these stories….you could be an author you know, and just use Alice for your inspiration. Never have to go to work again, LOL.
    (kidding……*runs and ducks*)

  3. Bill Neef said

    Linsdey is the 2nd cousin, once removed of Marybeth. M was a baby in 1959 and was with her family, visiting our cottage. As a group lounged at the lakefront, M would always crawl swiftly toward the seawall and we would grab her, carry her from the lake, and it repeated over and over.

    So … I got our long dog chain, augered it into the lawn, and hooked it to M. Problem solved.

    Bill Neef (“Pap” to Lindesy)

  4. LB said

    Is this so different from the straps we put on our kids in a booster seat or high chair?

    • I don’t think so. I think the idea is that teachers aren’t supposed to do it. Eh. Probably not. But the more I think on it, the more I think it’s ridiculous anyone would be upset about it.

  5. asl said

    wow. love how you are standing behind your teacher and can be cool with what’s happened. have you been able to talk to her personally or pass a message along through the school?

    • Personally, not yet. Hopefully soon. She’s officially suspended for two weeks but not sure yet if they’ll get her back. But yeah, we’ve been sending her our best through a couple routes…

  6. Emelee said

    Not allowed to restrain adults in nursing homes either. I’ve seen a man fall forward out of his chair straight headfirst to the tile floor. Makes no sense to me.

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