A Granite School District special education teacher has been suspended pending investigation by district officials of an incident in which a child allegedly was stripped to his underwear during a discipline episode.
Granite Superintendent Loren G. Burton said he expects an investigation to be complete in about a week.The teacher reportedly asked a male aide to remove the child's clothing when the student was being sent to a "timeout" booth. The teacher indicated she feared the child would use rivets and metal zipper parts to damage the booth or to hurt himself.
Regardless of motivation, however, removing the child's clothing probably violated district guidelines for dealing with behaviorally disturbed children, a deputy district superintendent said.
Children placed in the isolation facilities are supposed to be watched throughout the confinement, the superintendent said.
Burton said it was not clear yet whether the teacher made the 11-year-old student return to class after the discipline without replacing his clothing or if the child returned unclothed on his own.
The teacher has publicly acknowledged that she made an error, he said.
"We don't condone any situation in which a student is harassed or embarrassed," Burton said. "We took immediate action when we heard about it."
The timeout booth was approved for Sandburg Elementary, he said, and is used as part of discipline measures used on behaviorally handicapped students, with the knowledge and consent of parents or guardians.
Use of timeout booths for disciplining children was questioned by the American Civil Liberties Union earlier this year.