Police, TDSB investigating after girl, 5, allegedly placed in storage room for misbehaving
Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto
Published Wednesday, April 3, 2019 5:12PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 3, 2019 8:12PM EDT
Police have opened an investigation into allegations that a west-end public school lunchroom supervisor placed a five-year-old girl in a storage room for misbehaving.
According to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), school administrators at Essex Junior and Senior Public School, located near Christie Street and Dupont streets, were informed of the incident by students on March 28.
The incident itself, students told the school board, occurred two weeks ago.
“It was reported that a five-year old student was told by a lunchroom supervisor to stay inside an unlocked storage room (room was approx. 3.5m x 2m and held toys) off of a classroom as a form of discipline,” the TDSB said in a statement. “Staff immediately began to investigate and have notified Toronto police as per our procedures.”
The TDSB said the supervisor has been put on home assignment while an investigation is conducted.
“While we continue to investigate, the reported incident is very troubling and something that would be completely unacceptable,” the TDSB said.
Le’Anna Felix, the girl’s mother, told CTV News Toronto that she had no idea the incident took place until the principal called her on Monday.
“I am losing sleep over it because now she knows that if I go to school and misbehave, will they lock me in the closet again.”
Felix’s daughter, De'Anna, said that she wanted to have her pizza lunch warmed up and was kicking the table in order to get a lunchroom supervisor’s attention.
“She said one more time, you keep doing that, and I’m going in the closet and she ended up putting me in there,” De'Anna told CTV News Toronto.
Felix said that even if De'Anna was misbehaving, there are other disciplinary options available to supervisors.
“I was devastated,” she said. “Why didn’t the school call me if they couldn’t control her? I’m just across the street. Or even put her in the office.”
Felix said that once she confirmed the incident with her daughter, she called the police and the school board.
Toronto police said that an investigator was assigned to the case Tuesday evening. The investigator has not yet had the opportunity to interview the victim or any witnesses in connection with the alleged incident, they said.
In the meantime, Felix said that she is contemplating transferring De'Anna out of the school.
“She doesn’t feel safe and I, as her mom, don’t feel safe sending her back.”
With files from CTV News Toronto’s Brandon Rowe