Some Madera parents defend teacher in duct tape case

September 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Madera police are now investigating the teacher accused of having students put duct tape over their mouths.

A teacher at Parkwood Elementary School is now at the center of a growing controversy. At least three parents say Jack Bush encouraged students to put duct tape over their mouths during a class on Friday.

Natalie Kaitangian shared her concerns with Action News on Tuesday after speaking with her nine-year-old daughter. "I asked her 'was it because you were talking? She said, 'No. We were quiet.' She said 'we were being rewarded.' and I said that doesn't make sense to me. She said 'it doesn't make sense to me either."

Kaitangian says she wanted to protect her child from a situation that made her uncomfortable so she and her husband wrote a letter, which made it to the district office on Monday.

Madera Unified Superintendent Edward Gonzalez said, "Any time there's an allegation of an adult acting improperly that's very disturbing and the district will take immediate action to investigate those allegations."

Superintendent Gonzalez says he can't comment on the teacher's history or specifics of this case because of the ongoing investigation. But he wants parents to know action will be taken if any codes were violated.

"Our primary concern is going to be the safety and security of our students," said Superintendent Gonzalez. "So we're going to make sure we put every protection into place to safeguard that."

A Madera police sergeant confirms his department opened its own investigation Wednesday morning. Officers are now trying to determine if any actions took place that would warrant criminal charges.

But not everyone is taking the allegations so seriously. Some parents tell Action News Mr. Bush was joking around with the kids and offering quote "magnet tape" to anyone who wanted it.

Parents tell us Mr. Bush was not in class Wednesday, and that he's expected to be gone for at least a few more days.

The superintendent did not have an exact timeline for when the investigation will be complete.

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