HARRISBURG—Harrisburg school officials are investigating after a teacher reportedly put soap on the tongue of a 10-year-old boy last week as punishment, prompting his mother to call police.
The incident happened during classes Thursday at Camp Curtin school, at 2900 North Sixth Street. The mother called police to the school the next day after classes ended to report the incident as an assault.
“The allegation was that the teacher rubbed soap on the student’s tongue,” said Police Capt. Gabriel Olivera. “The school had done an initial investigation and what the mother claimed, did occur. Their stories pretty much matched up as to what the incident was.”
But the incident didn’t rise to the level of a crime, Olivera said, so police left the matter with school administrators.
“It was determined to be a school administration issue, not a criminal issue,” Olivera said.
PennLive could not immediately reach the mother of the student. But she talked with a CBS21 reporter and said her son was disciplined with the soap after getting into an argument with another student.
“She told me to go by the sink,” the boy told CBS21, “and she got a bar of soap and she started rubbing it on my tongue.”
Because of the incident, the boy said he wanted to transfer to another classroom.
“I do want to go back to the school, if she doesn’t work there anymore. I just don’t wanna stay in that class,” the boy told CBS21.
The school district said they could not comment about the incident due to personnel privacy policies and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. It is unclear whether the teacher has been disciplined.
“School districts are not permitted to disclose, nor discuss student and/or employee matters,” said Kirsten Keys, district spokeswoman, in an emailed statement.
The school district’s discipline policy posted online describes minor misbehavior such as disobedience, disruptive behavior and profanity as a level one offense. The procedures for teachers, as outlined in the policy, is for them to immediately intervene, then possibly write or call the parent to notify them of an infraction.
Repeated misbehavior requires a parent/teacher conference, according to the policy.
Possible disciplinary action against the student for level one offenses includes detention, suspension of privileges such as recess, parent conference or temporary removal from class.
Notably absent from the list is the use of soap.