Officials at a high school in small-town southeastern Michigan have placed a band teacher on paid administrative leave because his technique for improving a girl’s posture while playing her instrument was to duct-tape her ankles to a chair.
The teacher is Brian Sullivan, the Monroe News reports.
Sullivan teaches at Jefferson High School in Monroe, Mich., a town of about 21,000 on Lake Erie, about 35 miles from Detroit.
Naturally, a bunch of students are petitioning for Sullivan’s return to teaching ahead of the band’s eagerly anticipated trip to Florida in April.
The band is scheduled to perform at Disney World.
If Sullivan doesn’t return soon, the trip, which begins April 9, could be canceled.
“The kids have worked very hard for this trip all year,” worried mother Debbie Barron told the Monroe News. “The kids have earned this.”
Barron is a band booster and has a daughter in the Jefferson High band.
“If it was my daughter, I’d be upset, of course,” Barron added, noting that she doesn’t think Sullivan should be fired.
School district superintendent Craig A. Haugen had little information to offer.
“The district is in the process of collecting information regarding the details to resolve the issue in a timely manner,” Haugen said in a statement obtained by the News. “The teacher is on paid administrative leave and may not have contact with any students in any manner or be on Jefferson Schools’ property.”
According to Barron, proper posture is a very big deal to Sullivan. The band teacher constantly preaches sitting up straight with both feet on the floor.
The offending girl, who was wearing boots and jeans when she got duct-taped, pretty obviously was not following these instructions. So, Sullivan used the polyethylene-coated adhesive to fasten her ankles to her chair.
The girl was upset. Another student notified school officials later.
As the New York Daily News notes, a group of Jefferson High students has aggressively taken up Sullivan’s cause. They have started a petition and they are handing out fliers.