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3 Bumps

5-year-old locked in room, forgotten by kindergarten teacher


The student was left in the room as punishment for misbehaving.

CALDWELL, Idaho — A kindergarten teacher locked a 5-year-old boy in a small, dark room alone at the end of a school day then forgot the child there for over an hour, according to a southwestern Idaho father.

School officials said Friday they were investigating after hearing from James Cagle, who says that when his wife found their son the boy was crying and had urinated on himself.

"He was scared," Cagle told Boise television station KTVB.

"You know just think about that," he added. "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. About 45 minutes after he was supposed to be home, they headed to Washington Elementary School to look for him.

Cagle said his wife and a school secretary found the boy crying and afraid in the small room in the dark, where he had apparently been for around an hour and a half after the teacher put him 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 dispute that the room was locked, saying the teacher would not have had a key. Assistant District Superintendent Monica White also noted that the door to the room has a large window, which allows light in from the hallway.

Still, officials acknowledge that the discipline was inappropriate.

The teacher "should not have done that," said District Superintendent Tim Rosandick.

"That's not a preferred practice," Rosandick added. "That is not what we would have wanted her to do."

The district hasn't released the teacher's name, nor will officials say whether she is still employed.

White also said she can't discuss what offense prompted the teacher to place the boy in the room, citing federal student privacy laws.

Cagle said administrators told him that an incident report had been placed in the teacher's personnel file, and that she was still teaching at the school.

Rosandick said the room is used for tutoring, where aides work with students one-on-one. It's also used for emotionally impaired students, when a child needs to be removed from a class for becoming violent.

Neither of those instances apply in this case, however, Rosandick said.

"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.

The district is reviewing its policies and procedures on the tutoring rooms, White said.

Cagle has also met with the school principal, Steve Foley, who agreed to place his son 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," he added.

Cagle said he has had other problems with the school, including three incidents where the boy didn't get home on the bus as he should have. Twice he was placed on the wrong bus, and once he wasn't placed on the bus at all.

Cagle said he complained each time. White, for her part, said she hadn't heard those reports and that it's possible school officials had not notified district administrators.

"The last thing we ever want to do is lose a child," White said.


Think anything will happen to this teacher? I highly doubt it. Maybe suspention without pay. I would be taking my child out of that school in a heart beat. 


Asked by LostSoul88 at 9:05 AM on Dec. 1, 2012 in Politics & Current Events

Level 40 (119,496 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • That entire school has problems, the teacher appears to be a product of her environment.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:02 PM on Dec. 1, 2012

  • I suppose it has to do with the teacher being protected by the Union. That poor child.

    Answer by booklover545 at 9:14 AM on Dec. 1, 2012

  • I'd be in jail for assault. But then again, I would've taken my kid out of that school the first time she was put on the wrong bus.

    Answer by tnm786 at 9:26 AM on Dec. 1, 2012

  • that teacher SHOULD be fired, or at the very least be suspended without pay for a month or more. That poor child is gonna be afraid of going to school for who knows how long! A freakin KINDERGARTENER left alone in even a semi-dark room for almost 2 hrs?!

    Answer by DreainCO at 10:37 AM on Dec. 1, 2012

  • The room is used, the article says, for children that need to be isolated? Surely not in a dark room?

    Answer by Bmat at 9:44 AM on Dec. 1, 2012

  • I'd be pulling my kid out of that school asap! After the bus incidents and then this... the school has proven to be full of incompetent fools, imo.

    And what's up with the lame excuses? So the room had *some* light streaming in from the hallway? That makes it okay? And it doesn't matter if the door wasn't locked. A child who thinks he's in trouble isn't going to try to leave the room. Besides, even if he did try to leave, where was the adult supervision making sure the child was okay? This is so wrong on so many levels, and I doubt anything will happen to the teacher.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 11:16 AM on Dec. 1, 2012

  • I would be in jail and that teacher would be in the morgue if someone did that to my child. This idiot needs to be fired! She should not be allowed to be around kids. Can you imagine if any of us did this at home to our kid? We would lose custody of the child and would be in jail.

    Answer by Nos4 at 2:58 PM on Dec. 2, 2012

  • That teacher would have needed leave...SICK leave...after I got finished with her. Dontcha just love unions? Isn't it just awesome how you can't choose what school to spend your tax dollars on?

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 8:51 PM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • Repeatedly having trouble getting this boy on his bus and then this? There is no way I would trust my child to this inept school and I would strongly lobby for an investigation of the school as a whole as well as that teacher.

    Answer by tessiedawg at 10:42 AM on Dec. 1, 2012

  • I would be demanding she be fired. We had some problems with my youngest's kindergarten teacher, but never anything this bad. I thought the teacher we dealt with was evil, but this is so extreme it goes beyond words. I would be livid.

    It irks the ever loving hell out of me that terrible teachers are protected because of tenure and/or a union. If you don't do your job properly, you don't deserve to have that job in the first place.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 12:09 PM on Dec. 1, 2012