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Audio: Michelle Rhee's Masking Tape Story

ScreenHunter_89 Sep. 27 21.23 Rumors about this anecdote have been circulating for a couple of weeks and the audio tape has been posted online by the Washington Post

In it, Michelle Rhee tells what's either an amusing anecdote about getting kids to be quiet or child abuse. 

Below's an example of a comment sent to me from someone in the latter camp.  But having listened to the tape I'm not so sure I'm all that worried.  How about you?


Hon. Scott D. Shellenberger
State's Attorney, Baltimore County, Maryland

Dear Scott D. Shellenberger:

The statute of limitations may well have expired in this matter but I
feel it is a matter of conscience that this be reported to your office
even now.
Sometime between the years 1992 and 1995, a teacher at Baltimore's
Harlem Park Elementary named Michelle A. Rhee, placed masking tape over
the mouths of 8-year-old students in her charge in order to quiet them.
She herself reported that several of the children cried and were
bloodied when the tape was removed.
Recently Ms. Rhee, who now serves as the Chancellor of the Washington,
D.C. Public Schools, made a stunning public confession of her abuse of
the children, albeit nearly two decades after the fact. This is
conjecture on my part but possibly Ms. Rhee is aware of the statute of
limitations in a crime of this nature. Or that because these were Black
children living in poverty, Ms. Rhee feels they could be abused with
impunity and the whole thing could be made into the opening joke of an
after dinner speech.
Ms. Rhee testified to this before an audience of hundreds of people who
will serve as teachers in the District's public schools. Just as a
matter of curiosity have you been contacted by any of them? Unlikely it
would seem, many of the new teachers inexplicably laughed at Ms. Rhee's
cruelty. Maybe just confused white Ivy League kids anxious about having
a job and eager to please the boss, you think? A lot of them were Teach
For America doing missionary work.
The following link to a Washington Post audio recording of Ms. Rhee's
full confession is offered as potential evidence if you should seek an



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OMG, are you serious! You listened to the tape of DC's Chancellor Rhee telling a roomful of new teachers how she used masking tape on the mouths of babies (7 -8 yr old children) and you don't have a problem with it. I guess you also found it amusing-- as did her audience of educators-- to hear Rhee explain how the children’s’ mouths were bleeding when the masking tape was yanked off.
Mr. Russo, the irony about Rhee's story is that she made false child abuse claims against 266 DC teachers in a national publication, when in fact she’s the one with the questionable past. If this happened to one of her daughters she would have fired the teacher on the spot.
Thank God there are people like the person who submitted the email to you that really care about children, regardless of their social economic status or race. I'm willing to bet my last dollar that if Chancellor Rhee placed masking tape on the mouths of dogs and made their lips bleed the story would have been picked up by mainstream media and you would signed a petition to have her incarcerated.

At issue, shrill responder, is whether she actually did any of that. I suspect that victims would remember having tape over their mouths, etc.

BTW, you just accused people of not caring about kids, or at least caring about animals more. That's stupid. I mean for real.

On the one hand, what she did, as a naive (stupid?) young teacher is forgivable- though in NYC, teachers have been sent to rubber rooms for less. BUT how stupid is she to tell others what she did? I'm surprised that she didn't have the common sense to realize what she did was wrong and that she should keep it under wraps. If my kid came home and told me her teacher did that, I would not let it go. And I'm appalled that those newbie teachers found the story funny.

I can't believe she admitted this story...in most districts she would have been fired for this...not a good choice of behavior management stories...and I'm more appalled that people actually thought this to be funny...

She shouldn't be hired in any positions involving young children. 7 and 8 year olds, pulling masking tape from their mouths while bleeding. What else did she do to those children in her care? I wonder. How else did she abuse them? What else did she get away with? And she has become famous for using the words "crappy" and "crap" to describe the education she believes many school children got in the DC schools. What about her own "crappy" methods of disciplining poor black children?

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