Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
Akeelah Joseph
screenshot via WREG

A Memphis, Tenn., teacher has been suspended and an investigation is under way after she reportedly put a 5-year-old student in a closet and then left the school, WAFB 9 News reports.

According to officials at Shelby County Schools, Kristin Oshfeldt, a teacher at A.B. Hill Elementary, has been suspended without pay after an administrator found the little girl in the closet and called the police.


"My teacher put me in the closet and told me not to come out," said kindergarten student Akeelah Joseph.

Akeelah's mother, Wanda Joseph, said the kindergartner was trapped in the dark closet for more than an hour before she was found. Oshfeldt had apparently gone home sick in the meantime, WAFB reports.

"I peed myself," Akeelah said of her time in the dark school closet.

Memphis-Shelby County Education Association President Keith Williams confirmed that Ohsfeldt had been referred to labor relations twice, but was not sure of the reasons.


Akeelah's mother doesn't want investigations; she wants Oshfeldt fired. "It's been going through my head … it just disgusts me," she said. "She needs to be fired from her job."

Another woman said that her granddaughter, who is in Ohsfeldt's class, confirmed that the closet has been used for time-outs.

"As soon as she got home from school, she let me know," said Deanna Williams, according to WAFB. "[My granddaughter] also said that the teacher is a nice teacher, but when the teacher puts them in there for time-out that she gives them a book, she gives them beads to count and it's just a timeout, but my concern was why we weren't informed."


Police, child services and the school district are all investigating, but no charges have been filed.

Read more at WAFB 9 News.

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