Students tape principal to doorway
Duct-tape event raises money for second-grade field trip
Eucalyptus Elementary School students and staff alike saw an extraordinary sight in September: Principal Craig Gunter duct-taped to a wall.
“(You) just have to see it to believe it,” School Administrative Secretary Karen Mendoza said. “I wouldn’t have even thought of it.”
“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get kids excited about learning and excited about raising money,” Gunter said, estimating that 150 students participated.
One dollar bought students 3 feet of duct tape with various designs like “pink leopard, skulls and all colors under the rainbow,” according to Assistant Principal Theresa Kallenberger.
“Just pure excitement,” Kallenberger said of the kid’s reactions. “We haven’t done something like this before. For him to go up and do it and to see adults being silly — they were just in heaven.”
Second grade teacher Sarah Carter said fellow teacher Dayna Tolson found the idea on Pinterest and Gunter was willing to participate to raise money for the second graders’ field trip.
Carter said her mother, who helped collect money, saw older kids put on a macho front, but the excitement of a younger kid was shining in their eyes.
“(They were) ready to buy a piece of tape and get Mr. Gunter,” Carter said.
Gunter is about 200 pounds at 6-feet-1-inch and was taped to two utility doors, calling it “a big canvas,” with his head sticking up above the top while standing on a platform. Periodically, he tested the tape’s hold by lifting one foot up, but the sliding this caused made him afraid he would fall once the platform was moved, he said.
According to Kallenberger, once the platform was removed because of the amount of tape, he did stick to the wall, but they quickly put it back so the tape would stay.
The platform provided enough room for Gunter to be on his tiptoes, “basically I was doing a two-hour toe crunch,” he said, becoming aware of sore muscles under his knees once he was off the wall.
“But it was all worth it and I’d do it again for a great fundraiser,” he said.
The $245 raised will go toward a field trip to a museum with the destination not yet decided, according to Carter.
The most “lucrative” enjoyable fundraiser she’s had during her 10 years of teaching, Carter said everyone could participate with students bringing tape from home.
“We all have duct tape and all can come up with a buck,” with the fundraiser including all grade levels, she said, showing students they could work on a goal together.
All the students were invited to see Gunter break free from the tape.
“We gathered around where he was and he broke out of the duct tape like a beautiful butterfly out of a cocoon,” Kallenberger said.
In a way, Gunter did emerge a butterfly, in that he learned something new.
“A principal doesn’t need to be standing on ground or have working legs or working arms to manage children — just having a strong voice works,” Gunter said, telling students, “You are not putting tape on my face!”