Teacher taped student's mouth, suit says

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) _ A former special education student has sued a teacher and school officials, accusing them of wrapping tape around his head and hands.

Joseph Pethtel, 19, of Toronto in eastern Ohio filed the lawsuit Friday in Jefferson County Common Pleas Court, naming teacher Larry Dennison Jr. at Indian Creek Junior High School, Principal Mark Furda and the school board for the district in Wintersville, about 125 miles east of Columbus.

The lawsuit accuses Dennison of putting tape over Pethtel's mouth in an eighth-grade science class five years ago, and says when Pethtel pulled the tape off, the teacher wrapped tape around his hands and then wrapped the tape to hold his hands against his head.

Some hair pulled out as Pethtel struggled to free himself, and Dennison later ripped the tape off, according to the lawsuit, which seeks more than $25,000 from each of the defendants on claims of assault, negligence and emotional distress.

Superintendent Jene Watkins and Furda declined to comment. No phone listing could be found Saturday for Dennison.

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