Parents of preschoolers in St. Louis are in an uproar after an award-winning teacher was fired from her job at Wilkinson Early Childhood Center.
Kelly Hahn was a recent recipient of "Pre-K Teacher of the Year" award on November 19th, according to local station FOX2. Fifteen days after recieving the award, she was suspended and put on leave.
After several of the students under Hahn came home crying due to her absence, many parents were left wondering why she left. However, the answer provided by St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams only angered and frustrated them.
According to a letter Hahn recieved from the school district, the teacher was let go for "child neglect and endangerment."
The parents found her termination hypocritical especially after Adams held a meeting to discuss "empowering teachers and partnering with families," according to the news station.
According to the parents' conjecture, the only reason the St. Louis Public School district could have possibly believed she was endangering their children was during an incident when a 3-year-old was sent to school wearing a diaper. This is not allowed, so when Hahn discovered it, she contacted the parents right away but left the diaper on the child. A fellow staff member contacted the Missouri Department of Family Services.
Although the Department failed to find any evidence of neglect, Superintendent Adams refused to comment on the incident.
"That's the handcuffs that we have relating to personnel, we cannot discuss specific personnel issues," he told reporters.
Parents have complained to the district that Hahn's substitute is not a certified teacher. Also, many of the families have threatened to pull their child from the school unless Hahn sees her job returned to her.
"I just want what's best for her, what's best for my kids," said Sue Gilmore, a parent at Wilkinson's. "And what's best for him is having his teacher back. She loves those kids, and there's no substitue for that."
A hearing for Hahn's case will be held on March 4th.