SCS Fires Teacher Accused Of Leaving 5-Year-Old In Closet

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(Shelby County) The teacher accused of leaving a 5-year-old girl in a closet was fired by the SCS board Tuesday night.

A day after the incident, A.B. Hill Elementary School teacher Kristin Oshfeldt was suspended with pay and school administrators told WREG what she did was clearly against school policy.

Oshfeldt defended herself through the Memphis Education Association, saying she’s put children in that isolated spot before for punishment and that she gave students a choice where they want to spend time out.

Five-year-old Akeelah Joseph was left in the closet for more than an hour, and was found after Oshfeldt had gone home sick and a substitute teacher came in.

“I almost peed on myself because I couldn’t make it to the bathroom,” Akeelah said.

WREG asked SCS about the incident in January, and it would only say the actions Oshfeldt was accused of are not a part of its discipline policy.


  • John T. Dwyer

    It’s a good thing to see that teachers are no longer allowed to punish children in cruel and unusual ways.

    I attended a well known Catholic school from 1st grade through 8th. I was a witness, and the subject on occasion, of all kinds of things. Children shoved into lockers…made to stand in trash cans…made to kneel in corners on concrete floors for long periods…made to go without food or water for the whole day.
    There were also beatings with the paddle or chalk board stick, which left bruises lasting for days. There were little hands struck with chalkboard pointers, rulers and books. Painful neck pinches and pressure point grabs. Kids not being allowed to use the restroom and caused, in several cases, to urinate on themselves. Paddlings and verbal abuse, in front of everyone causing humiliation and embarrassment. All of this done by lay teachers and religious.

    I also attended a very well known Catholic high school for 2 years and was witness to the same stuff.
    It always amazed me that these sadistic people were allowed to teach much less be anywhere near children.

    I hope this little girl will go on to succeed and do great things. There are great teachers out there also, who will do everything they can to see she succeeds. I also hope she will forgive, but never forget the experience she had at the hands of this person.

  • kiddy

    I would bring charges upon her A.S.A.P! If someone had locked her child up in a closet and left she’d be DEMANDING to have him or her arrested on the spot! She knew EXACTLY what she did and it was intentional. WHAT child would except the punishment of being locked away in a closet as punishment. You’re suppose to punish a child by taking away the fun things they enjoy doing. Do she hate kids or what? I notice they didn’t show her face, WONDER WHY?! Huuuum?

    • mr.matt

      wonder why they didn’t show pics of the folks that blew it up out of proportion? this teacher has to work in a war zone and have the ebonic way of life shoved down her throat at the same time as dealing with hating coworkers..kid prob needed a butt whippin. the teacher would be much happier getting away from a scum part of town like she was teaching in

      • Elismom

        Yea…she would fit in better teaching in your part of town because clearly you need more schooling.May I interest you in a subscription to ABC mouse?

  • Sam

    Man this teacher got a vacation! Suspended WITH pay! No justice at all. That was straight up neglect! She left and forgot the child in the closet. That’s messed up and I would certainly be upset if that was my child.

  • Renae

    Some of the comments posted here are down right ignorant!!! Why are some of you so willing to make judgments abouts where or how this child lives and try to use that to justify the teacher’s actions? Regardless of where she lives, IF her parent(s) receive benefits, even if she is a misbehaved child, the fact is the teacher locked her in a closet and left. I teach all day, everyday in a poor district and come in contact with children with all manner of disrespect, family issues, some are even parents, but none of that should dictate how I conduct myself as a professional. Stop trying to justify what was poor judgment on behalf of the teacher and stand up for the little girl.

  • Macey B

    It doesnt matter if the mom works, if she is on EBT, or how many children she has. The point is a child was left locked in a closet as a form of punishment. And to add insult to injury the teacher went home and left the child. If the childs behavior was that bad then the proper chain of command should have been followed. The childs race, household situation, and moms ilfe has nothing to do with the teachers actions.

  • Katherine Perry

    You are so right, Macey! Kids don’t get to choose the circumstances into which they are born. I’ve taught for years in a low-income school. The thing that would surprise most people is that the majority of these parents love and care for their children just as much as anyone else. They may go about it differently and they may not have the same skill set, but their rights as parents are the same. This was the wrong course of action, no matter what the child did. Good teachers know better.

  • Peter

    They should have wet her lips and stuck her to the wall and that would have been better babysitting then locking her in the closet.

  • The truth hurts

    Some very evil and mean souls here in Memphis. So full of hate and anger. Lord please watch over all the little children in the world that cannot defend or protect themselves from so many Evil Evil adults.

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