Teacher Accused Of Leaving Kindergartner In Closet As Punishment

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(Memphis) 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.


      • annie

        i hade a principal to put my grandson in her office made him hold his head down to touch his toes for a long time he came home with black eyes head hurting from his sinus that i went to the school but she denied it she put student in her office an close the door !

  • Linda Conner

    I don’t understand this kind of discipline action. Having taught for 38 years for MCS, this just wasn’t a behavioral correction choice. Human Resources will probably get this one, if it even gets past the Superintendent……I have to shake my head at the “mess” people create for themselves. Good luck.

      • Don

        Naw, I am a product of the SCS.and we had great teachers, however they did not have a Memphis attitude, we had time for reading passages from the bible, recite the Pledge and learn the what we called the 3 R’s. Reading, Writhing and and arithmetic. Our teachers were homemakers and and wonderful people. If you got a little frisky and broke some of the rules you spent time in the cloak room, but never locked in.
        Some time they might come out at recess and watch some of the guys play mumbley-peg, with our pocket knives.
        If we had problems with another student, we invited them to meet at the cross roads at sundown and we became friends again by playing a little whoop-arse.

  • dante dickerson

    Wow! If that was me at that age, i would of scream and scream until someone heard me. Why the other student didn’t say anything?

  • angela braddox

    they were probably too scared and I hope she loses her job and does some jail time too something should really be done about the school situation in Memphis the bad thing about it theres no one to help you when u do have a problem believe me love my city but hate the schools
    coming from someone who knows everyone there passes the buck and its our childern who suffer i have one and she probably loved school all up until this happened poor baby hope shes all right

  • Nonya Bidness

    MCS (the new SCS) isn’t going to do anything. The parent needs to be on the Shelby County Prosecutor’s doorstep and have criminal charges filed against the teacher.

    False imprisonment, terrorist actions, child neglect, and anything else they can pile on.

    • Lam

      Seriously? This child was being disruptive. These students tell, cuss out the teachers and refuse to work on their schoolwork. The child was given a book, placed in a lighted closet on a chair to read and quiet down. That’s hardly a terrorist act!

  • Mimi

    How much more crime are we going to hear that is done to our children? This is very serious child abuse. It is time we think about the child and the help she needs. The so called teacher should have called the parents if she had a problem with any of the children. If this teacher is not fired by the Board of EDUCATION then they should be sued. Notice I capitalized EDUCATION…Educated people would not do this to a child. Please get this child some help over being traumatized and stop this insanity. I hope the whole City of Memphis goes up in arms over this because we must protect our children. How many times and to how many has this happened to? THIS WAS A 5 YEAR OLD BABY! LET’S STAND TOGETHER AND GET THIS CHILD HELP AND GET THIS SO CALLED TEACHER PROSECUTED TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW.

  • Brown Sun

    This is comparable to living a child or infant in a “hot car” or “cold car”. This is child neglect; and I hop criminal charges are brought upon this “so called” educator.

  • Nabi Tablet

    I think she needs to go to jail, no charges have been filed, if it was the mother who did this to her child she would have been booked into jail!!!! But it was the teacher come on NOW MPD!!!!!

    • Ruud Punter

      The 3 R’s include writhing (as in… with laughter?)?
      This stuff is too funny to be made up.Pardon me but my (Freudian) slip iss showing.

  • Laz Jemison

    She went to Baylor & Vanderbilt. Looks she hit her tipping point and snapped.

    One too many imbeciles did it. Can you imagine tryind to get anything accomplished in a Memphis classroom???

    Wall to wall totally undisciplined imbeciles. That would make most snap.

    • pendleton

      you might have a point most children are not discipline,but do that make her any righter to do that to someone child what if that was your child would you understand that abuse

    • Fee

      I am a Kindergarten teacher and I must say I don’t agree with her method of punishment. However, half of the parents on this site that are commenting are probably the parents who have the worse kids. You all need to start raising your kids and quit sending them to school for the teachers to raise them. I signed up to be a teacher and educate our young people but when you send them to school acting like adults with no respect for an adult you find yourself in silly situations like this. Yes, if she went to Vandy she is well educated. She made a bad choice. Please don’t make that child look so innocent because I work with K all day and when I tell you they can be very tricky and half of them are not afraid of their parents AT ALL. That is because they have not instilled good values in their children. My kids may disrespect their parents in front of me but It would be a cold day in hell before I allow them to do the same to me. This teacher needed to use better methods to control her students. This was wrong but please don’t make it seem like she was an angle. Her mother lied because I’m pretty sure she has been in trouble more than enough. Ijs she needs to resign if she did do this. Just a side note. Kids do lie!! They are big liars at times. I had a student lie on me and said I pulled his arm. I didn’t touch him but he lied and I straightened that out with his mother. They will lie in a heartbeat and she had the nerve to say she can’t control her child. Smh

    • allknowing

      SO it would be ok if she did this to your child or grandchild just as long as she has an education from top schools that makes her a justified in her actions. I dont care how many “imbeciles” she got in her class she better not mistreat none of them.

  • pendleton

    Im sorry that is no excuse for someone to do a child like that.I’m a parent its ride or die for mine.Put yourself in her mother shoes.Thats what wrong with us now we donot care about what happen to babies,thats why a 7week old baby is missing now do to neglect.We have to come to gether as a people and stop our babies from being abused and hurt.

  • Mindy Peach

    Ok having read some of these comments…..it’s pretty clear that a lot of you need to go back to school and learn how to spell or how to type a comment that someone can understand.

  • Divagirl

    She did not use good judgement in this situation. This is probably not the first time she’s used this form of punishment on the children and has always gotten away with it. Our school system really needs a complete overhaul. Many of the educators have lost their passion for teaching and go to work just to get a check. This type attitude is displayed in the way they handle the children and the parents. Granted all of the children are not well-behaved and all of the parents are not responsible. However, this is what you signed up for. MCS has a history of pushing things under the carpet. They will dig up information on the parents and cause the parent to be judged rather than the actions of the teacher. I hate to say this but….the principals of these schools are “thugs”. Many of them don’t give a hoot what happens to your child. It’s all about the numbers and a pay check. They threaten the teachers and mistreat them and then wonder why they can’t get a handle on the children. The teachers are tired, over-worked and under paid. There is no value placed on the child learning and moving to the next level. They just move them on, despite their abilities. I’ve witnessed so much inequality and unethical behavior by the MCS that nothing surprises me anymore. I’ll bet you this teacher is an excellent educator. She probably genuinely cares about her students and saw no harm in placing the child in isolation on a temporary basis. She forgot this time and now it will cost her her job probably. I don’t agree at all with the method she used but obviously it has worked in the past, and she used it

  • grayhawk

    What if the TEACHER did the right thing.
    What if this CHILD were another CHUCKY.
    What if the TEACHER gave her all.
    What if the SCHOOL support the TEACHER.
    What if the PARENT didn’t RAISE A
    What if we all were too quick to speak on this matter.

  • Just Asking

    Yeah she was wrong for leaving the child in the closet and going home but we all know what our children are capable of. A teacher can tell me my son took two pencils and began to beat from one desk to another and at the end did a split i can believe that he did because that the behavior he does at home and i get on him for doing it. We have to own up to the thing we know that our kids will and won’t do. Children are bad as hell now because they have no respect for authority they are being taught that they don’t have to obey others and majority of the time if someone say anything to them their parents will be quick to take their sides before trying to fix the situation while arguing with that person in front of the child so automatically the child has lost respect for others. Its hard teaching disrespectful children who where never taught to obey others they are getting in my opinion worst.I taught Pre-K and the kid seem to come out the womb taught to rebel against authority. Everybody claim they would have been in jail if it was their child BLAH BLAH BLAH ask questions first … Shit was the “closet ” really a closet? What the hell did the child do? Did the teacher call the parent but to no avail the phone number dialed was disconnect cause the parent(s) fail to return updated information? Where was the teacher assistant? Have the child ever been sent to the office for unruly behavior? Do she respect her parent(s)? How many chances did she give her? Have there ever been a student/ teacher/ parent conference?I Did the teach just get fed up and made a poor discussion? Wonder if it taught her a lesson?

    • Ashleigh

      I think you’re an idiot. It doesn’t matter what the kid did, that is not an excuse to commit child neglect. Maybe you should think before you speak. It’s the individuals like yourself that make this world so sad to live in. I don’t expect you to even understand what I’m saying, because I understand that you simply don’t have the mental capacity to comprehend logic and (obviously) right from wrong. Get an education, read a book, do something to feed your brain. It’s starving.

  • Linda

    Mind Control-The Ultimate Terror – Educate-Yourself.org
    The topic of mind control is elaborate, multifaceted, and multi layered. For the casual reader, it can quickly become numbing, overwhelming the senses and …

  • jc

    Don’t get me wrong I think this is horrible. But? The problem with this world is that we are raising our kids weak minded. That’s why we have crazy kids having nervous breakdowns shooting up schools. My teachers back in school beat our butts with wooden paddles. Toughened us up for the real world. This is just media driven drama. With our court system once again having to handle an angry mother with bad grammar.

  • Rodriguezagnes

    If you do not have the patience to deal with children, please dont be a teacher. Also, for those of you who are so concerned with how some of these people choose to express themselves, if it were YOUR child, it would envoke the same emotions so lets not act like one is better than the other because someone has misspelled words or poor grammer or writes a run on sentence.

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