Pastor John Raymond, the founder and school headmaster of Lakeside Christian Academy in Slidell, in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, has spoken out about his arrest last week after he was charged with three counts of cruelty to juveniles. The Louisiana pastor was apprehended by authorities after he taped three students' mouths shut for talking too much.

CBS 42 reported that the 40 year old Lousiana pastor was at the center of a complaint from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) over a potential child abuse that occurred at Lakeside Chrisitan Academy. The police investigation found that on March 18, a handful of students were taken out of class due to excessive talking.

Raymond was allegedly angered over the students talking too much, so he brought them to his office, took a roll of packing tape and taped the students' mouths shut by wrapping the tape around their heads. The Louisiana pastor then sent the students back to class for 45 minutes until another school administrator who felt uncomfortable over the way the students were treated had removed the tape from the students' faces. Police said that because the tape was wrapped around their heads, a pair of scissors was required to remove it.

Police said that the students reported having trouble breathing and that the process of removing the tape was painful. Raymond surrendered to the police after the investigation and was charged with three counts of cruelty to juveniles, which in part states, "to cause unjustifiable pain or suffering to children under the age of 17." The students were 13 year olds.

Raymond, who was a contestant in the reality TV series "Survivor: Thailand" on CBS in 2002, released a lengthy statement on Monday addressing his arrest last week, the New York Post reported. He alleged that the students "showed complete disregard" by disrupting their seventh-grade class with talking and had bullied their teacher.

The Louisiana pastor explained that when he pulled out the disruptive students from class into the hallway, he gave them a choice to have their mouths taped shut with Scotch packing tape or be suspended. He alleged that the students chose the packaging tape as their form of punishment.

"I pulled off one piece at a time and carefully placed it over their mouths making sure I did not touch their nose or interfere with their breathing," the Louisiana pastor explained. "At no time was tape wrapped around any student's head."

Raymond claims that the students confirmed that their breathing was not constricted by the tape. But the school principal later told the Louisiana pastor that she was not "very comfortable" with the way he handled the situation, which he forcefully defended in his statement on Monday.

"We have a zero-tolerance bully policy at Lakeside," Raymond argued. "This means students cannot bully each other or bully the teachers. We are serious about protecting both our students and our teachers."

Five teen boys were involved in the situation, including three whose parents are going to press charges against the Louisiana pastor. Raymond said, "The other two students have been attending school as usual. Their parents are completely supportive of the discipline that took place."

The complaint was filed two weeks later. Raymond claims that they "love" all of their students and work to "maintain a safe and effective learning environment," reasoning that, ""Building character in teenage boys can be difficult."

The pastor, who is also an elected member of the Louisiana Republican Party governing board, insisted, "No student was ever treated with cruelty or harmed in any way."