A local teacher has been charged with two counts of assault stemming from allegations that she tied down two children with masking tape while in the classroom.
Waterloo Regional Police laid charges against the French teacher in connection with an investigation into how she purportedly disciplined the two students at Alpine Public School in Kitchener.
Police received a report from one of the student's family and children's services on October 22. Investigators arrested a 52-year-old Waterloo woman following a joint inquiry by the Youth Protection Unit and Waterloo Region's Family and Children's Services.
The boy's mother and father told the Canadian Pakistani Narrative, a prominent society and lobbyist group, that their five-year-old was in shock. The family is hiding their identities for privacy reasons and is demanding a change in the system.
"There was another child of colour as well," the child's father said in the interview. "The teacher taped two kids in the class. Our kid and the other kid, as well."
The child's mother says her son told her that the teacher taped him and another student down because he moved a desk in the classroom. The pair were allegedly left unattended at the school with the lights off for an unknown period.
"Both kids were taped to their desks. There were no other kids in the classroom ... the teacher told the kids that they had to go out of the tape by themselves."
Both parents believe more charges should be laid against the teacher, who was released from custody based on an undertaking. They claim the school informed them that nothing could be done until the internal investigation concludes.
CityNews and OMNI have reached out to the school and the Waterloo Region District School Board for comment.
"This is humiliation. Forcible confinement. Negligence ... She [the teacher] left the kids in the classroom. This is clearly racism. They were racially profiled. Those poor kids in the class with the lights off," the boy's father said. "They're just kids. What if a fire broke out? No one would know that they're in the class. This is negligence."
They allege that this particular teacher taped down other students in the past, with other children complaining that the woman did this "two or three times" before. They're also calling on Education Minister Stephen Lecce and the Ford government for "systematic changes."
"We need to see that kids are safe in school. As of now, you see they're not."
The unidentified teacher will appear in a Kitchener courtroom on December 8.
- With files from Anureet, OMNI News reporter