Parents Outraged after Preschool Staff Made Children Stand Naked as Punishment
Two staff members at an Illinois preschool have been placed on administrative leave after they were accused of making children stand naked as a form of punishment.
The university that operated an Illinois preschool programme revealed on Tuesday that two of their staff members were placed on administrative leave over questionable disciplinary measures they implemented. The teacher and her assistant are accused of making children stand naked as a form of punishment.
A 26-year-old Head Start teacher reportedly introduced the punishment in February. According to the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Police Department, the teacher has worked for the programme for three years before introducing the punishment.
The university leases the classroom space from a community center in East St. Louis. It is about 30 minutes south of its main campus.
The teacher, as well as a teacher's aide who was reportedly aware of the punishments, lead a classroom of about 20 4 and 5-year-olds. Students were allegedly told to strip off their clothes and stand in a closet naked as punishment for bad behavior.
University police began investigating the accusations on Thursday. According to SIUE police Chief Kevin Schmoll, a young boy from the class had told his parents about the supposed punishment and they brought it to police attention.
“That little boy is very brave for coming forward and telling us what was happening in his classroom,” Schmoll said.
Both the teacher and the 41-year-old teacher's aide were immediately placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate. Parents were immediately informed about the proceedings through a newsletter from the school.
The letter was sent to parents of other children in the class, and police will follow up with phone calls to determine if there are additional victims. The children in the class will be interviewed from the first week of April.
Police have involved child services and prosecutors to determine whether the teachers will be charged with child abuse. When the news broke many were horrified and took to social media to express their shock.
"Administrative leave??? This is supposed to be school, not prison! There is absolutely no possible or plausible reason in which they can justify their decision!!! This has nothing to do with punishment....this is a total and blatant misuse of authority!" tweeted one horrified member of the public.
In a similar story, a teacher and a teacher’s aide bullied a 10-year-old autistic boy until he broken down in New Jersey. His father uncovered the situation by slipping a tape recorder in his pocket after realising something was wrong with his son.