Pastor John Raymond Defends Taping Students’ Mouths Shut After Arrest
Even after he was arrested last week and charged with cruelty to juveniles for taping several students’ mouths shut, a Louisiana pastor who is the founder and headmaster of Lakeside Christian Academy released a statement on Monday defending his actions.
John Raymond is also an elected member of the governing board of Louisiana’s Republican party and competed in the fifth season of the hit reality competition Survivor. He defended his actions by saying the seventh-grade students involved in the incident had been continuously bullying a certain teacher and she was “ready to terminate her employment,” over it.
Raymond then described leading the students to an upper hallway of the school and giving them a strange ultimatum that he apparently considered normal discipline. “At this point, I pulled out a roll of clear Scotch packing tape and said, ‘I’m going to give you a choice. We can either go downstairs an call your parents and you can wait in the lobby to be suspended, or you can get tape on your mouth and learn how to be quiet during class,'” Raymond wrote.
He claimed that all students chose the tape and that it was “carefully” applied to not interrupt their breathing. He also said they “unanimously shook their heads yes” when asked if they could breathe normally. Raymond then said the students were escorted to their final period class and he made an example of them in front of their classmates by saying “disrupting your class and disrespecting your teacher is not allowed.”
He admitted that the school’s principal did not appreciate his choice to tape the students’ mouths, but was still bizarrely adamant about how safe the process was. “In fact, one teacher witnessed the student that actually caused the trouble laughing in the hall while still wearing the tape,” he said.
“Building character in teenage boys can be difficult,” Raymond went on to say in the summarization of his argument. “These students were given a choice between suspension and the temporary tape. They were never in any physical pain. Their breathing was never impaired. The tape never wrapped around their heads. And it was off in under ten minutes. No student was ever treated with cruelty or harmed in any way.” It truly seems like this headmaster employed bullying to punish bullying, and just because there was no physical harm doesn’t mean it didn’t impact those students mentally.
Someone should really tell Raymond about the concept of detention because his punishment style seems taken out of several decades ago. Three of the students’ parents are pressing charges on the matter.
Raymond’s last five minutes of fame were when he was a contestant on Survivor: Thailand in 2002. He only lasted one episode as his domineering personality apparently rubbed his tribemates the wrong way, and he was voted out after his tribe lost the first immunity challenge.