Latest News

Palma Sola teacher accused of taping student to chair

MANATEE — A Palma Sola Elementary teacher is being investigated on a child abuse charge stemming from allegations that he duct-taped an unruly child to a chair earlier this year.

The teacher, who authorities declined to name, was placed on leave.

The teacher was accused of taping the child to his chair and displaying the boy to his classmates, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.

The problem between the teacher and the child came to a boiling point some time after Christmas break, the report stated. The boy was “hyperactive and hard to handle,” causing the teacher to threaten to tape him to his chair if he got out of it “one more time.”

The boy got out of his chair again. The teacher then took the student to the hallway and bound the boy’s lower legs, thighs and shoulders and arms, according to the report. The teacher then stuck the tape to the chair and carried the boy and the chair back into the classroom.

The teacher then asked if the boy would agree to stay in his chair.

After the boy said yes, the teacher removed the tape and resumed class, the report states.

Though the incident took place in January, the report was lodged March 23. Someone called the Child Abuse Hotline to report the incident, according to the report.

Dave Bristow, sheriff’s spokesman, said his office turned the case over to the state attorney’s office. Officials at the state attorney’s office say they couldn’t comment on whether they had received the case.

Manatee County school district officials said they have placed two Palma Sola teachers on leave for misconduct charges based on unrelated incidents. They declined to describe the cases because both are under investigation.

In one of the cases, a law enforcement agency has decided that there wasn’t a criminal act, said John Bowen, school board attorney.

Authorities are still figuring out whether to file charges on the other case, Bowen said.

Sylvia Lim, education reporter, can be reached at 745-7041