A Christian school pastor is facing three counts of cruelty to a juvenile after taping students’ mouths shut to stop them from speaking.
60-year-old John Raymond is a Louisiana pastor who was arrested and charged with cruelty after sticking tape to the mouths of three 13-year-old students.
As the Lakeside Christian Academy founder and headmaster has since insisted, the seventh-graders were punished after they kept on interrupting their class, prompting their teacher to break into tears and threaten to resign over their behavior.
Raymond went on to defend his actions saying he gave the three students a choice to either be suspended or have their mouths taped.
“The students all chose tape and I pulled off one piece at a time and carefully placed it over their mouths making sure I did not touch their nose or interfere with their breathing. At no time was tape wrapped around any student’s head,” the pastor says.
The police, however, claimed that the tape went all the way around the students’ heads.
“Due to the fact the tape was wrapped around the students’ head, it had to be removed with a pair of scissors. During the encounter, the students claim they had trouble breathing and that the removal process was painful,” Slidell Police insisted.
Following the incident, the school’s principal allegedly told the pastor that she wasn’t comfortable with his disciplinary methods. Despite his active charges, however, the school has not yet taken any action against Raymond.
“The other two students have been attending school as usual. Their parents are completely supportive of the discipline that took place. In fact, another one of these parents has since applied to work at our school and is now on staff,” Raymond added in his defense.
He also insisted the tape was only on the students’ mouths for ten minutes before it was removed.
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