A school district in Colorado Springs, Colorado is looking into claims that several teachers were taping face masks onto their students’ faces, the New York Post reports.
The allegations began after a photo went viral on social media of a student at Chinook Trail Middle School with a mask taped to her face. The image depicts the student wearing a black face mask, with at least three layers of blue electrical tape across the upper half of it, covering the student’s nose and the upper half of her cheeks just below her eyes, which put the student at an even greater risk of hindered breathing.
Since then, many parents said that similar incidents had occurred with their students. As a result, Academy School District 20 is conducting an investigation that includes interviewing over 100 students and faculty to get to the bottom of the allegations.
“It’s developing some sort of mentality in our children,” said the mother of the girl in the original photo, who only wished to be named as “Stephanie M.” “Your face is you, that is how people know you. They are just doubling down on hiding you and not letting you breathe. It’s conformity to the extreme.”
Another parent, Tori Skeldum, said that her child reported that “teachers were wearing the masking tape around their wrists like bracelets, and whenever someone’s mask would fall down, they would tape them.”
“It’s sad that our world is coming to this and teachers would think it is OK,” Skeldum added.
The district released a statement on the matter, declaring that “over the weekend community members posted additional allegations across several social media platforms” after the initial photograph of the female student circulated on the Internet. “[Chinook Trail Middle School] and Academy District 20 are now conducting an internal investigation. We are interviewing more than 100 students and staff members to better understand this situation.”
The statement added that the school did not “have concrete findings,” but would “keep our community apprized” as it learns more.
Since the incident, Stephanie M. said that her daughter has been moved to virtual learning. She has declined an offer to meet with the school’s principal and is seeking advice from an attorney.