An Oklahoma teacher has lost her job after a snack run gone bad. The teacher loaded her Honda Accord with 11 students, including two placed in the locked trunk, for a “snack run” to a nearby Walmart.
According to KJRH, Heather Cagle was a math teacher and varsity cheer coach at Wells Middle School in Catoosa, Oklahoma. On October 30, a student’s parent filed a police report against the teacher, noting that Cagle had taken almost a dozen children in her vehicle to a local Walmart. The report claimed that on October 21, Cagle loaded 11 students from her yearbook class into her personal Honda Accord. Two of the students rode in the front seat, seven rode in the back seat — some on the floor — and finally two rode in the car’s locked trunk.
After the police report was filed, Cagle was suspended with pay until a “due process hearing” with the school board could take place. During the investigation, the school pulled video footage that showed Cagle loading the 11 students into her vehicle. The report claims it took nearly five minutes for all the kids to fit into the vehicle. The report also notes that the teacher left two students behind in the classroom.
The teacher’s lawyer claims it was a momentary lapse of judgment, and hoped that Cagle’s exemplary record with the school since 2005 would overshadow this one incident. However, the school’s lawyer claims that not only did Cagle violate seatbelt laws, her actions were also “mental abuse,” as she told the 12-year-old students to keep the whole situation “hush hush.”
Cagle made tear-filled confessions at the school board meeting, noting “it was a terrible mistake. I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I just wanted to do something nice.” Though the teacher pleaded her case to the school board and pointed out that the school parking lot and Walmart parking lot are connected via an access road, the school board voted 4-1 to fire Cagle.
The grandmother of one of the students who rode in the trunk says that Cagle did not have permission from the child’s family to take her off campus. Furthermore, she is concerned about what could have happened to the children while in the trunk or at the Walmart, where they were able to run around the store without supervision.
“What if on the way to Walmart that trunk had been hit? Those children could have died. What if those children, wandering around Walmart, one of them got snatched?”
Do you think the teacher should be fired for “snack run” incident, or should she have been given a second chance? Should she be able to keep her teaching license?