Mouth taped shut in school

My 5th grade teacher gagged kids who talked too much in class. She did this all the time. Her usual method was to plaster a big jumble of masking tape all over the offender's mouth.

I remember once a boy who received this punishment for the umpteenth time managed to work his mouth open underneath all that tape. So she sealed his mouth shut all over again, this time with gym tape, that tape they use for permanent colored lines on a gymnasium floor. Now he could never get his mouth open, in fact I can't imagine how she ever got it off him after school.

But he did make noises.

So when we came to our classroom the next morning we found this boy sitting in his seat, glum, silent, speechless, an enforced speechlessness that had no possibility of being broken. Covering his mouth and much of his face was a great big mask of gym tape. Our teacher decided she had just had it with him. And so he had to continue that way, with his mouth gym taped shut in school for the next three and a half weeks.

And back then no one objected. No complaints, no controversy. Oh, startled staring perhaps when someone first sighted this boy's mouthless tape-encased mummy face. But no one ever objected.

Jul 22, 2020

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  • Tape gagging was common school discipline in the 60's and 70's. And OP is right, no one thought anything of it. Times change!

  • A form of child abuse

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