Headmaster of Christian school arrested for taping students’ mouths shut

On April 7, 2022, Slidell Police in St. Tammany Parish arrested Pastor John Raymond, 60, of Lacombe, on three counts of cruelty to juveniles.

Raymond is the headmaster of Lakeside Christian School in Slidell.

In late March, Slidell Police said they received a complaint from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) about potential child abuse at Lakeside Christian School. The complaint stated that Pastor/Headmaster John Raymond taped multiple students’ mouths shut as a form of discipline. Slidell Police launched an investigation into the allegations.

Detectives conducted several forensic interviews of students at the Children’s Advocacy Center – Hope House, as well as interviewed parents and faculty from Lakeside Christian School. The investigation concluded that on March 18th, several students were removed from a class due to excessive talking. Officials said Raymond got angry and brought the students to his office. At some point, Raymond allegedly took a roll of packing tape and taped the students’ mouths shut by wrapping the tape around their heads. Raymond allegedly sent the students back to class for around 45 minutes before another school administrator felt uncomfortable with the situation and removed the tape from the students’ face. Due to the fact the tape was wrapped around the students’ head, it had to be removed with a pair of scissors. During the encounter, the students claim they had trouble breathing and that the removal process was painful.

After reviewing all the facts of the case, detectives presented their findings in a warrant, which was signed by a 22nd judicial judge early this morning (April 7, 2022). Several hours later, Raymond turned himself in to Slidell Police. Raymond was booked into the Slidell City Jail for three (3) counts of cruelty to juveniles, which states, in part, “to cause unjustifiable pain or suffering to children under the age of 17”. All three of the victims were 13-years-old.

Raymond will be transported to the St. Tammany Parish Jail where a bond will be set.

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