5-year-old boy says Michigan teachers taped his mouth shut, threw out lunch

The mother of a 5-year-old from Dearborn Heights says two teachers in her son's former school taped his mouth shut with Scotch tape and then threw away his lunch multiple times.

An attorney for the family, Nabi Ayad, says the mother of 5-year-old Abdul Dannaoi first contacted him after an incident late last month. The mother said a teacher walked in to a classroom and witnessed another teacher taping her son's mouth shut with Scotch tape.

The boy's mother said she was never called by the school and told about the situation. She said she found out about it when she picked her son up from school the next day.

She said the tape was put over the boy's mouth during lunch and snack time at Highview in Dearborn Heights and that the teachers then threw his lunch away. 

Two days later, that teacher was terminated, Ayad says, but that wasn't the end of it. The little boy told his mother that another teacher at the school did the same thing.

The pre-schooler said a second teacher also taped his mouth shut with two pieces of Scotch tape. The boy's mom went to the principal over these concerns but said the principal didn't believe the other teacher would have done this.

A teacher in the Crestwood School District at CHBC in Dearborn Heights discovered another teacher had taped his mouth shut with two pieces of Scotch tape and thrown his lunch in the trash.

In video obtained by FOX 2, the little boy showed how the teachers used two pieces of tape to cover his mouth. When the boy's mom asked why he didn't tell her, he said he was scared and that teachers told him they would deny his claims. 

The boy said it happened multiple times and one teacher even gave him a bracelet and told him not to tell anyone what happened.

The boy's mom, Houda Dannaoi, said she wants justice for her son.

"I need to know what happened in the class. Maybe it happened to another child," she said. "I am not afraid - I want my justice."

She said the school let one teacher go but the other one, who she says gave her son a gift and told her not to tell, is still employed.

"We were doing art and she made this bracelet - and she said do not tell momma or daddy that I did it. I'm going to be very nice to you Abdul, I promise," Houda said. 

"They said don't tell I did it, only the other teacher did it," Abdul said in the video.

Houda says she talked to the principal and demanded to know why the other teacher wasn't fired as well.

"She said look - your son is a liar - that's exactly what she said. My son is not going to make up a damn story like this," Houda said.

The boy's mom said she doesn't believe her son is lying and says there's no reason for him to lie. She's removed him from the school and said she has filed a police report.

Her attorney is demanding even more. 

"We're calling on the city of Dearborn Heights police as well as the state administration to conduct a full and thorough investigation of this. I want to get to the bottom of this, I want to know what these teachers have done and whether they've done it to other students, how many times they've done it and what else they're doing to other students," Ayad said.

The school district responded to the allegations with this statement:

"A substitute teacher assistant placed a piece of Scotch tape over the mouth of a student for a very brief period of time. The GSRP - Great Start Readiness Program - teacher was in the room as were the other children. The teacher reported the incident to the GSRP director who reported it to her supervisor. The substitute teacher assistant was immediately released from employment. "