Memphis Education Association Defends Teacher Who Locked Student In A Closet

| by Will Hagle

The Memphis Education Association claims that the local kindergarten teacher who locked her 5-year-old student in a school closet for over an hour did not violate state or district law. 

A.B. Hill Elementary School kindergarten teacher Kristin Oshfeldt was suspended without pay after being found to have locked her student, Akeelah Joseph, in a closet as a form of punishment for “being bad.” Akeelah was found by a substitute teacher only after Oshfeldt left school sick. 

Despite outrage from Akeelah’s mother as well as other parents throughout the district, Memphis Education Association president Keith Williams believes that her cruel and unusual form of punishment was acceptable.

“The child was not out of view of the teacher and that sort of thing, so I guess we’ll all have to wait and see what they come up with. She was using a form of isolation that she thought was acceptable to the district and to state standards,”  Williams told WREG. 

According to Tennessee Watchdog, the Memphis Education Association is one of the largest teachers’ associations in the nation. While the school district has yet to publicly comment on Oshfeldt’s situation, Williams has asserted that his organization will stand by the teacher’s actions. Whether or not Oshfeldt will be allowed to return to work remains to be seen.