Parents of student who had mouth duct taped shut by his teacher speak out

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PARMA, OH - The parents of a student with special needs whose mouth was duct taped shut by his teacher are speaking out.

Anastasia and David Ratchford of Parma are devastated by the actions of their son's teacher and disappointed with the Parma City School District's reaction.

"It happened before Christmas break.  I didn't find out until the beginning of February," said Anastasia.

Their six-year-old son David is non-verbal and developmentally delayed.

He is in kindergarten at Ridge-Brook Elementary in Parma.

Anastasia says back in early February, she received a phone call from the school's principal.

"She explained to me that an assistant had seen David's teacher put duct tape over his mouth," said Anastasia.

David's parents were speechless.

They were scared for her son.

"He is not able to come home and say what happened in school.  It makes me wonder what else happened," said Anastasia.

Last Wednesday, the Parma City School District announced that the teacher involved in this situation had submitted a letter of resignation effective at the end of the school year.

However, parents were informed that in the meantime, that same teacher would continue to write IEPs for the students with special needs.

"She shouldn't even been working in that type of field, she shouldn't have been working after it happened period," said David, Sr.

The Parma City School District released a statement Tuesday that reads in part,

"Towards the end of January, the school district administration was notified of an incident regarding a student at Ridge-Brook Elementary School.  At that time, the parent/guardian of the student involved was immediately notified.  All other appropriate protocols and agencies were contacted in accordance with the law.  This situation continues to be an ongoing investigation."

Meantime, David's parents says they have called the board of education.

Their phone calls have not been returned.

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