Two Illinois teachers at a preschool have been placed on administrative leave after they were accused of making children stand naked as a form of punishment.
Twenty six-year-old HeadStart teacher, who’s identity has not been released, allegedly introduced the new for of punishment in February. The Head Start program is operated out from Southern Illinois University, which leases the classroom space from a community center in East St. Louis that’s about 30 minutes south of its main campus. The teacher and her aide, who police said was fully aware of the punishments but did not report it, lead a classroom of about 20 children ranging between 4 and 5 years old.
Students were allegedly asked to take off their clothes then stand in a closet naked as a way to discipline them. The university’s police began investigating the accusations last week after a young boy informed his parents about the alleged punishment. Police Chief Kevin School said “That little boy is very brave for coming forward and telling us what was happening in his classroom”.
A letter has been sent to parents of other children in the class and police said they plan to follow up with phone calls to determine if there are any additional victims of this unusual punishment tactic.
Police will be conducting interviews with children, which will start within in the first week of April.
The police are also working with child services and prosecutors to determine whether the teachers will be charged with child abuse.
These kind of situations are a parent’s worst nightmare because we entrust so much in those we expect to be watching our children.