Education

Memphis Kindergarten Teacher Allegedly Locked 5-Year-Old In Closet, Went Home

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Memphis kindergarten teacher is accused of locking a 5-year-old student in a closet for over an hour and forgetting about her when she went home sick.

Kristin Ohsfeldt was suspended while the Shelby County School system, Memphis police, and the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services investigates allegations that she locked Akeelah Joseph in a closet at A.B. Hill Elementary on Tuesday.

"I almost peed on myself because I couldn't make it to the bathroom," Akeelah told WREG.

Akeelah reportedly told her grandmother she often puts children in the closet for time-out.

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The girl’s mother, Wanda Joseph, reported the incident.

"She was cold,” Joseph said of her daughter. “She came out cold and shaking. Plus she has asthma. She could have had an asthma attack in that closet!”

She says she wants the teacher fired.

"It's been going through my head, like, oh it just disgusts me," she said. "She suspended, she needs to be fired from her job."

"As soon as she got home from school she let me know," Akeelah’s grandmother, Deanna Williams, told WFAB. "[Akeelah] also said that the teacher is a nice teacher but when the teacher puts them in there for time out that she gives them a book, she gives them beads to count and it's just a timeout, but my concern was why we weren't informed."

“You don't do a child like that. If you're going to punish a child, you tell them to stop and behave or you're going to write them up and send them to office!” Williams said. “You don't put a child in a closet, period!"

Sources: WREG, WFAB, WATE