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Teacher Tapes Elementary Student To Chair

A teacher in the Oakridge School District has been placed on paid administrative leave after allegedly taping a student to a chair because he wouldn't sit down.

Superintendent Don Kordosky declined to identify the teacher Tuesday, but confirmed she was removed from her Oakridge Elementary School classroom last week after the mother of Austin Lanham, 9, reported the May 28 incident.

The boy's mother, Becky Faile, does not have a listed phone number and could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. In interviews with local television stations, she said the teacher taped her son from his knees to his chest after he refused requests to sit down.

Faile said her son's poor behavior was not a strong enough reason for him to be humiliated in front of his peers. Faile said she has contacted a lawyer.

"She taped me all the way around, double, around my stomach and my chest," Lanham told CBS affiliate KVAL-TV in Eugene, Ore. "They were all just laughing at me, and that made me feel pretty mad."

Lanham said he kept getting out of his chair because he had to go to the bathroom. He said his teacher finally just taped him to the chair to stay put.

"She actually told Austin he could just go to the bathroom right there and that they had towels so they could clean it up," Faile told KVAL-TV. "I am so far beyond angry right now it's not even funny."

Under Oregon law, "a teacher may use reasonable physical force upon a student when and to the extent the teacher reasonably believes it is necessary to maintain order in the school or classroom."

It's unclear if masking tape is considered reasonable.

Masking tape might come off easy, but Lanham's mom worries that for her son, it could leave a lasting mark.

"He's going to remember this for the rest of his life," Faile told KVAL-TV. I don't want this coming off as a negative side effect so that he doesn't want to go to school next year because of this. He shouldn't be afraid to go to school."

On the advice of her Oregon Education Association legal counsel, the Oakridge teacher is not commenting on the incident until district officials have provided her with the results of their investigation, said Dan Fisher, president of the Oakridge Teachers Association.

"It's a shame that the process has worked this way with the media coverage, because it's been almost a guilty until proven innocent thing," he said. "Even if she is totally cleared, she may never get her good name back."