Caldwell, ID — A kindergarten teacher locked a 5-year-old student in a small, dark room by himself at the end of the school day. The teacher left the child there for over an hour, the boy’s father said.
School officials said Friday they were investigating the case after James Cagle said that when he and his wife found their son he was crying and urinated on himself.
“He was scared,” Cagle said. “You know just think about that. A 5-year-old boy.”
Cagle said he and his wife panicked when their son didn’t come home from his morning kindergarten class Wednesday. 45 minutes after he was supposed to be home, the Cagles went to Washington Elementary School to look for him.
Cagle said his wife and a school secretary found the boy crying in the room, where he had been put for about an hour and a half after the teacher put him in there for misbehaving.
“I know that if I locked my child in a room long enough for him to urinate on himself, I’d be going to jail or child protective services would dang sure be here taking him out of my house that night,” Cagle said.
School officials disputed that the door to the room was locked, and said the teacher would have had a key. Assistant District Superintended Monica White also said the door has a large window, which allows light in from the hallway.
The officials did acknowledge, however, that the teacher’s discipline was inappropriate.
The district hasn’t released the teachers name and won’t say if she is still employed at the school.
The room is typically used for tutoring and for emotionally-impaired students when a child needs to be removed for becoming violent.
“What is very regrettable, and the teacher certainly feels awful about this, is the fact that the child was left in there and was, essentially, she had forgotten that she had placed the child in that room,” said Rosandick.
Cagle has met with the school principal, Steve Foley, who agreed to have his son placed in another kindergarten class.
“I’m not saying I want to get her fired. I don’t want to ruin her career,” Cagle said. “But in the very same breath, it’s my kid.”
James Cagle said he has had problems with the school in the past, including incidents where his son was either placed on the wrong bus, or not placed on the bus at all. He said he complained each time, but White said she hadn’t heard the reports. It’s possible school officials did not notify district administrators, she said.
“The last thing we ever want to do is lose a child,” White said.