Report: Teacher taped student’s mouth

A North Star Charter School teacher used duct tape to cover an elementary school student’s mouth during a test in October, according to a complaint from a parent.

The parent was not identified by Today’s 6 and Fox 9, which ran a story last week about the complaint involving Julie Handyside, a fifth-grade teacher at the Eagle charter school.

According to reporter Eric Fink’s story, “Parents say they received an apology letter from Handyside. In it, the teacher refers to the incident as more than an unfortunate mistake. It reads in part: ‘We all make mistakes and some are bigger than others. I have evaluated my teaching and this is by far the worst mistake I have made in my life or career.’”

On Tuesday, Fink reported that a former student complained of a similar incident involving her entire class, two years earlier. The student also was unnamed.

Fink is reporting that Handyside remains on the job. But in a statement, North Star board chairman Jim Miller said little about Handyside’s status.

“North Star’s policy is to not comment on personnel and/or student matters. This matter has been thoroughly investigated and appropriately addressed by both the North Star administration and the board of trustees. As always, North Star is strongly committed to the safety and wellbeing of its students.”

North Star, a K-12 school, has about 965 students, making it one of Idaho’s largest charter schools.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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