State Watch

Pennsylvania school district apologizes, says teacher taping mask on student was ‘unacceptable’

A Pennsylvania school district apologized on Thursday after a photo of a teacher taping a mask on a student went viral last week.

The North Penn School District said in a statement that the image “does not represent the universal values that the North Penn School District strives to instill in both our students and staff.” 

The district said that it had conducted an investigation into the incident and found that it was “isolated.” It added that while “no malice was intended,” the teacher’s actions were “entirely inappropriate and unacceptable, no matter the context.”

“We understand that the act of taping a mask to a student’s face is concerning to many and apologize that it occurred. The matter is serious and it is being addressed with the employee. However, all personnel and student matters are confidential and no further information can be provided,” the statement continued. 

The district did not comment in the statement about whether the teacher would face disciplinary action.

The photo was posted on the North Penn Stronger Together Facebook page, named for a group of Republican candidates who ran for the district’s Board of School Directors in 2021 and lost, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The mother of the student issued a statement saying that she had intended the photo to be shared only in a private group and “in no circumstances” to be shared publicly. 

“Certain individuals felt compelled to take matters into their own hands, including contacting local authorities and disseminating this image of my son to various media outlets,” the mother said to local news outlet North Penn Now.

School mask mandates are a contested issue around the country. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the state’s mask mandate in schools in December, leading some schools to make mask-wearing optional.

Tags COVID-19 mask mandate Pennsylvania school mask mandate

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