Memphis teacher allegedly locked 5-year-old in closet as punishment, then went home sick

By Travis Gettys
Thursday, January 16, 2014 9:15 EDT
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Girl locked in closet Memphis
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A Memphis kindergartner was left locked in a closet after her teacher apparently punished her and went home sick without telling anyone about the girl.

The mother of 5-year-old Akeelah Joseph said the principal at A.B. Hill Elementary called her about two hours after a substitute teacher found the child, who said she was placed 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.”

Her mother and the principal filed a police report, according to WREG-TV.

“I am hearing that the teacher locked my child in a closet, because she was supposedly bad,” Joseph said. “You don’t do that. I hurried up to the school and started yelling, ‘Where my daughter at? Where my daughter at?’ She was cold. She came out cold and shaking. Plus she has asthma. She could have had an asthma attack in that closet!”

Classmates told police their teacher, Kristin Ohsfeldt, had punished other children the same way.

But Joseph said her daughter had never been in trouble before at 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,” Joseph said.

Joseph said the principal assured her an investigation would be launched into the incident.

“The principal is going to talk to her and see what happened,” she said. “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.”

The Department of Child Services has also been notified.

Watch this video report posted online by WREG-TV:

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