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East Bay Elementary School Teacher Accused Of Duct Taping Kids’ Mouths Shut

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Michelle Mankewich as seen in a school picture. (CBS)

Michelle Mankewich as seen in a school picture. (CBS)

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ANTIOCH (CBS 5) – An East Bay school teacher is under investigation by school officials for allegedly duct taping students mouths as a disciplinary technique.

Students claim Michelle Mankewich, a third-grade teacher at Antioch Charter Academy II routinely carries a roll of duct tape to tape students mouths’ shut when they are disruptive.

8-year-old Armando Torres said he was one of three students who were disciplined by Mankewich in this manner for talking too much in class

“You shouldn’t have done that to our students, to my child, or any other kid,” said his mother, Luvy Torres. “They don’t deserve that at all.”

Luvy Torres said Mankewich acknowledged using the unusual disciplinary technique on her son. “She said, “I walked over to his desk and I grabbed my duct tape and I came back and just put the duct tape on him,’” said Torres.

Torres also said she has proof that Mankewich knows she was wrong – in an audio recording of a parent-teacher conference days after the alleged incident.

In the recording, a voice Torres said is Mankewich’s is heard saying, “I don’t think it was right to happen. I’m not gonna justify that I should have done it because I shouldn’t have. I should not. I feel horrible that it happened. It was a joke.”

Torres also claimed other faculty at Antioch Academy have crossed the line in disciplining her child. During a meditation session earlier this year, another teacher admitted to placing a chair over Armando’s body and sitting on it to keep him from moving, said Torres.

The principal of Antioch Academy said the duct tape incident is a personnel issue that is under investigation. Mankewich remains at her position and has not been punished.

Torres said she is temporarily homeschooling her children until Antioch Academy takes action.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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