A Pennsylvania school district apologized after a photo appeared to show a teacher taping a mask to a student's face

  • A Pennsylvania school district said the actions of one of its teachers were "unacceptable."

  • A photo appeared to show the teacher taping a face mask to a young student's face.

  • Parents called for the teacher to be fired, according to local news outlets.

A Pennsylvania school district called the actions of one of its teachers "unacceptable" after she was photographed appearing to tape a face mask to a student.

A photo of the incident was taken at Pennfield Middle School in Hatfield, about 30 miles from Philadelphia, according to a report from the New York Post. It gained traction online after it was published in a Facebook group called "North Penn Stronger Together" on January 17.

In the photo, a young student is seen sitting at a desk while the teacher appears to place a piece of tape over their mask, affixing it to their face.

"This is a call to action to the administration," the Facebook post said. "Pro-mask or anti-mask, I hope we can all agree that taping masks to children's faces crosses the LINE. This was not a joke for the child or the parents."

In a statement issued this week, the North Penn School District apologized.

"An image taken in one of our classrooms last week and circulating on social media does not represent the universal values that the North Penn School District strives to instill in both our students and staff," the school district said.

"After an immediate investigation, it was determined that while the incident was isolated and no malice was intended, the actions of the teacher were entirely inappropriate and unacceptable, no matter the context," it continued.

The district did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment but said in the statement "all personnel and student matters are confidential and no further information can be provided."

According to KYW-TV, during a school board meeting, some parents said the teacher should be terminated. In its statement, the district did not clarify if the teacher faced disciplinary action.

"As parents and taxpayers, we deserve to know how this situation is being handled," a woman said at the meeting, per the outlet. "Because as of now, we heard the teacher, who is a special education teacher, is not arrested for child abuse, nor fired."

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