Duluth Teacher Deemed Negligent After Two Kindergarten Students Locked Outside of School

The mother of one of the students involved tells us mistakes happen but not being truthful is another story.

DULUTH, Minn.- A teacher with the Duluth School District is under investigation and on unpaid leave after two kindergarten students were accidentally locked outside in the cold.

The incident happened in January 2017, at Congdon Park Elementary School.

The mother of one of the students involved tells us mistakes happen but not being truthful is another story. The Minnesota Department of Education says the unnamed teacher, under investigation was negligent and gave conflicting reports to investigators, involving a case of two 5–year–old students at Congdon Park Elementary School, getting locked out of their school after recess for nearly 20 minutes on a cold January in 2017. The report said surveillance cameras in the area captured it all.

FOX21 obtained the non–public documents from Bethany Hammond, one of the student’s parents that said the teacher first said the boys refused to come inside.

“Wouldn’t come back as she called for him and she had to go back inside with the other students and she couldn’t stay out there to get them because she said she had to remain with the rest of the class,” mother Bethany Hammond said.

But according to the report that same teacher later told investigators she had no idea the students were missing until they were brought back into the classroom after a parent found the kids outside.

“If she had just missed them that’d be fine, I’d say ‘you know everyone makes a mistake you should have done a head count,’ but she told me that he did it maliciously,” Hammond said.  “I just, I don’t understand why you would put the blame on a 5–year–old.”

The Duluth school district is right now deciding whether the teacher should be fired. The district released the following statement, it reads in part “This is unacceptable and should never happen. The matter is currently in arbitration.”

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