The popular leader of an after-school band program in Brooklyn has been charged with assault after putting duct tape over the mouth of a 9-year-old student, the police said on Wednesday.The program leader, Kenyatte Hughes, 39, revived the Soul Tigers Marching Band, based at Intermediate School 292 in the East New York neighborhood, more than a decade ago with the goal of steering children away from violence by teaching them music.Mr. Hughes, whom officials said was a volunteer, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with assault, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a weapon (the duct tape), the police said. He was arraigned in Criminal Court in Brooklyn on Wednesday and released without having to post bail, despite prosecutors’ request that bail be set at $20,000.Law enforcement officials said Mr. Hughes put tape over a male student’s mouth on Monday, and that after it was removed, the boy’s lip was cracked and bloody and his face was swollen.Devora Kaye, a spokeswoman for the Education Department, called the charges “deeply troubling” and said, “Mr. Hughes will no longer be allowed in I.S. 292 or any of our schools.” The school principal, Evelyn Maxfield, declined to comment.
Bill Turque in the Washington Post in August 2010:
Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's talk to the new DCPS teachers Wednesday included two anecdotes I had not heard before -- one remarkable for its content, the other for its delivery. They described her struggles 18 years ago as a fledgling second grade teacher at Baltimore's Harlem Park Elementary.
"The worst and in many ways definitely the toughest year of my entire life," she said.
Rhee had poor class management skills, she said, recalling that her class "was very well known in the school because you could hear them traveling anywhere because they were so out of control." On one particularly rowdy day, she said she decided to place little pieces of masking tape on their lips for the trip to the school cafeteria for lunch.
"OK kids, we're going to do something special today!" she said she told them.
Rhee said it worked well until they actually arrived at the cafeteria. "I was like, 'OK, take the tape off. I realized I had not told the kids to lick their lips beforehand...The skin is coming off their lips and they're bleeding. Thirty-five kids were crying."
Hughes arrested for taping child's mouth shut, Rhee tells the mouth tape story for laughs.
She ought to be investigated for assault and endangerment of children's welfare as well.