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North Star Charter teacher admits to duct taping student's mouth

North Star Charter teacher admits to duct taping student's mouth

By Eric Fink. CREATED Oct 25, 2013

In an email to the "On Your Side" newsroom an anonymous parent of a North Star Charter student in fifth grade teacher Julie Handyside's class is outraged.

This parent alleges Handyside covered a disruptive student's mouth with duct tape when the class was taking a test on October 11.

We contacted North Star Charter Elementary School principal, Ryan Cantrell, Friday. Cantrell would not comment on the incident.

But, one parent of a student who witnessed Handyside duct tape her student says Handyside is beloved by her students and parents. Sally Giles knows Handyside and says this incident is completely out of character.

"It was a mistake," Giles said. "It was a very unfortunate mistake and she was completely contrite in her apology."

Parents say they received an apology letter from Handyside. In it, the teacher refers to the incident as more than an unfortunate mistake. It reads in part: "We all make mistakes and some are bigger than others. I have evaluated my teaching and this is by far the worst mistake i have made in my life or career."

Tiffany Grace is a mother of a high school senior and a third grader at North Star.

"It sounds crazy and terrible and horrible," Grace said. "I think the school itself has been great. This is shocking."

But, Giles defends Handyside.

"If you knew Ms. Handyside and you knew her disposition and her wonderful loving spirit you would know that this in no no way, shape or form was done with any malicious intent," Giles emphasized.

Reporter Eric Fink talked to a parent who says Handyside was absent from school for five days after the duct tape incident, but we cannot confirm that Handyside's absence was a form of discipline from the school.