Allegations in Maynooth hearing that teacher put sellotape on the mouths of 'giddy' pupils

Allegations that a teacher put sellotape on the mouths of five pupils at a school is being investigated at the first fitness to practise hearing against a teacher.

The hearing is taking place at Teaching Council headquarters Maynooth and relates to an alleged incident in March 2012 - writes

The female teacher at the centre of the allegations is not at the hearing and disputes the allegations.

In correspondence read out she wrote that she did not accept that there was an accurate account of what took place and that she was very concerned that she had been linked with the conduct, RTE.iereports.

The inquiry heard that the teacher began working as a substitute learning support teacher at an unidentified primary school in March 2012.

During a Maths class that took place on 7 March, it is alleged that she taped sellotape across the mouths of five girls.

In statements read out its alleged that pupils had become giddy and were chatting. The teacher told them to be quiet, but the chatting continued.

The teacher then threatened to tape their mouths with sellotape if they did not behave.

It is alleged that the teacher then applied sellotape to the mouths of some of the girls and directed others to do so themselves.

The children were left for between 15 to 20 minutes with their mouths taped before being directed to remove the tape as the class ended.

The school principal later reported the matter to the HSE and to the Department of Education.

The case is taking place under new teacher fitness to practise legislation. The long-awaited legislation underpinning the process commenced in July of last year.

Since then, the Teaching Council has received around 50 complaints, half of which have been deemed serious enough to warrant further investigation.

Grounds for complaint include misconduct, poor performance and medical unfitness.

Only the most serious cases will proceed to a full hearing.

If findings are made against a teacher, sanctions include temporary suspension or the permanent loss of the right to teach in a publicly funded school.

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