Forgetfulness. It happens to the best of us, doesn't it? Now imagine it's a teacher who has forgotten that she banished a kindergartner to a small, dark room? And by forgetting, I mean the teacher actually left for the day, leaving him to be found, alone and scared, by his parents who ran to the school when their little boy didn't clamber off the bus at his stop.
Would you be livid? Me too. And so are the parents of 5-year-old Tanner Cagle, who say their son was essentially locked in a closet by a teacher and left to wet his pants and cry in the dark.
I can forgive human forgetfulness. But I can't forgive a teacher for forgetting a student in the dark and leaving for the day.
I'm not even sure I can forgive her for putting him in a dark room to begin with. Although, to be fair, the room Tanner was placed in is considered a tutoring room, not some dark broom closet. It is a place for kids, and there are benefits to time-out when disciplining kids. Sometimes simply being removed from the situation makes all the difference.
That said, it's a teacher's responsibility to account for the whereabouts of her kids. Every. Single. Kid.
This applies to any particular moment of the day but is especially crucial at day's end. We want to know our kids are getting on the right buses or going home with the right adult. We want to know that our kids are actually GOING HOME!
We trust our children's teachers to know where they are because they're in charge, the responsible adults who act as our stand-ins during the school day when we aren't there to watch them. Forgetting a kid, even for a few minutes, is unacceptable. Forgetting one in a dark room and leaving for the day? That should bring some serious discipline down on this teacher's shoulders. What if something terrible had happened to this child -- beyond the trauma he already suffered of course?
Has a teacher ever forgotten your child? What happened?
Image via Renato Ganoza/Flickr