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Investigation completed into claims teachers were taping masks to students’ faces at a Colorado Springs school

This photo started circulating on social media with claims teachers were taping masks to...
This photo started circulating on social media with claims teachers were taping masks to student's faces at a D-20 school.(Anonymous 11 News Viewer)
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 3:42 PM MDT|Updated: Nov. 9, 2021 at 11:16 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) -

UPDATE (11/9): District 20 says it has completed its investigation into allegations that teachers at Chinook Trail Middle School were taping masks on students’ faces.

The district says it found that while no teacher actually taped masks to students, students believed they were supposed to tape their masks on after a few teachers told them they should.

Below is a letter to parents from the school principal:

Chinook Trail Middle School Families,

When we opened our doors two years ago, we adopted the vision statement, “Chinook Trail Middle School is a community of life-long learners who value relationships built on trust.” We also said, “People over process is what makes Chinook Trail special. We share information openly, broadly and deliberately, and we are extraordinarily candid with each other.” We strive to live by these statements.

That is why we are sending this communication. It is also why we held a meeting last night with the families and guardians of Team 642. We want to be open with you and talk about the last few weeks candidly.

After a parent raised concerns, we began and investigation on October 15, 2021, into allegations teachers warned students if they wore their face mask incorrectly, they would be provided tape to keep it in place.

Our internal investigation was thorough and impartial. More than 100 students and 10 teachers and staff provided statements and were interviewed by school administration, the district Human Resources Department, district Security and district Legal Counsel.

After examining all evidence, the district determined a policy/procedure was violated by the teaching team of 642. While we found that the teachers did NOT affix any student’s mask to their face, we did learn teachers directed students to affix their mask to their face with tape; and students believed they were required, by a teacher, to use tape to affix their mask to their face.

We are disappointed, both by the decisions made and the outcome of the investigation. More importantly, we are disappointed this event led to learning and social and emotional impacts to our students and their families.

Personnel matters are confidential, and I therefore cannot comment on the specifics of the investigation as it relates to our staff. But I can share our teachers and school leadership met with the student pod to address the issue and answer any questions this morning. Additionally, counseling staff is available to any student from the class pod who may need it.

The last few weeks have been challenging, but we must cast our vision forward. We will learn from this situation, and we will do better because we are better. We look forward to growing together and continuing along this learning journey by your side.

Tom Andrew

Principal

Chinook Trail Middle School

______________________________________________

PREVIOUS: Multiple people started reaching out to 11 News last week after alleged claims teachers at a Colorado Springs middle school were taping face masks to students’ faces.

A photo started being shared across social media showing a girl with blue tape across her nose at the top of a face mask. The photo in question was tied to Chinook Trail Middle School on the northeast side of the city. 11 News spoke to multiple parents who backed up the alleged claims that teachers required the tape if students were caught wearing their mask wrong multiple times.

11 News reached out to D-20 for comment on Friday and then again on Monday. Monday afternoon 11 News learned an internal investigation by the school district was underway.

On Wednesday, the district provided an update to 11 News stating they were wrapping up interviews with students and plan to sort through the findings. It isn’t clear when the investigation will be completed.

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