By Ruth Davenport - Metro Halifax
BEDFORD - A child-care worker at a Bedford school has been put on paid leave over allegations they taped a child’s mouth shut.
The Halifax Regional School Board notified the Department of Education Tuesday about the incident, which allegedly happened Thursday at Bedford South School.
Both the board and police are investigating.
“It was brought to the attention of the head instructor of the Excel program at Bedford South,” said HRSB spokesperson Doug Hadley. “We also had a couple of parents call and leave concerns with the regional Excel staff.”
Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Ramona Jennex said she was “horrified” by even the possibility that someone would tape a child’s mouth shut.
“It’s just totally unacceptable behaviour, if it has happened,” said Jennex. “I taught for many years and I’m the mother of a six-year old grandson. I’m horrified.”
Because of the long weekend, Hadley said Tuesday was the first chance board officials had to speak with students and other employees of the Excel program about the incident.
“We’re investigating whether it involved one child or there were more children involved,” he said. “If in fact, if it happened what was the reason why it happened, so at this point we’re still trying to gather information and speak with everyone involved.”
Workers in the Excel program are employees of the board assigned to specific schools to provide child care before and after school.
“They need to have at least one year of child care experience prior to employment with us, many of them have more,” said Hadley. “Some would have backgrounds in early childhood education, but it’s not necessarily a requirement.”