Teacher Accused Of Locking Kindergartner In Closet As Punishment
POSTED: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 12:15pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 12:19pm
MEMPHIS, TN — A Memphis kindergarten teacher is accused of punishing a student by locking her in a closet.
A.B. Hill Elementary teacher Kristin Ohsfeldt apparently went home sick and didn't tell anyone where the little girl was.
A substitute teacher found her an hour later.
Five-year-old Akeelah Joseph said she was scared no one would find her. She said her teacher put her in the closet as punishment.
"I was playing too much," said Akeelah. "I almost peed on myself if I didn't make it the bathroom."
The principal and mother filed a police report. It states other students told police "that this isn't the first time that [their teacher] has done this."
Akeelah's mother, Wanda Joseph, said she got a call from the principal two hours after it happened.
She said this was the first time her daughter had been in trouble.
"I am hearing that the teacher locked my child in a closet, because she was supposedly bad. You don't do that. I hurried up to the school and started yelling, 'Where my daughter at? Where my daughter at?'" said Joseph. "She was cold. She came out cold and shaking. Plus she has asthma. She could have had an asthma attack in that closet!"
No one came to the door when WREG stopped by Mrs. Ohsfeldt's Cordova home.
On the Shelby County School's website, it lists her as the team leader of the school's discipline program a couple years ago.
"The principal is going to talk to her and see what happened. Then he is going to send what happened to the Board of Education, and then see if they are going to suspend her or fire her. I think she needs to lose her job over that," said Joseph.
In the meantime, Akeelah is afraid to go back to school.
"She really liked her teacher, but I didn't know she would do her like that, do a child like that, put someone in a closet," said Josheph.
WREG contacted Shelby County Schools several times about the incident, but they have yet to respond.
The Department of Child Services has also been notified.
No charges have been filed.