Teacher Accused of Taping Mouths Shut

Misdemeanor charges of battery and child endangering have been filed against a Lancaster teacher who allegedly taped children's mouths closed and tied one child to a chair as part of her behavior management training of handicapped students.

Bonnie Lou Brown, 27, surrendered to Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies Thursday and was released on her own recognizance, Deputy Dist. Atty. Alan Rosenfield said.

Brown was charged with three counts of battery and two of child endangering in connection with incidents alleged to have occurred during summer sessions last year at the Joshua School. She will be arraigned April 24 in Antelope Valley Municipal Court.

According to Deputy Liova Anderson of the sheriff's Child Abuse Division, authorities acted on a tip from an adult informant who entered Brown's classroom for children with behavioral or developmental disabilities and saw a youngster tied to a chair with a jump rope. That child and two others, ranging from 5 to 10 years old, had their mouths taped shut to keep them from talking, she said.

"She (Brown) told us the use of the rope and tape were part of her method for behavior management, but there was nothing in the school's manual authorizing this," Anderson said.

Ken Almeida, superintendent of Lancaster District schools, said no action would be taken against Brown, but added that a warning has been issued to all school administrators informing them that school regulations do not allow teachers to use rope and tape to restrain students.

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