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St. Louis Preschoolers Forced to Stand Naked in Closet as Punishment: Police

A teacher in St. Louis, Missouri, allegedly made preschoolers stand naked in a closet as a form of punishment, CBS News reports. Two teachers are now on paid administrative leave after the students—ages 4 and 5—were allegedly forced to strip off all their clothes for disobeying orders. The second teacher is accused of knowing about the behavior and not reporting it. The teachers and students are part of the Head Start program operated by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. “Children would misbehave in class and this teacher would have them disrobe and stand them, make them stand inside a closet for five or 10 minutes as their discipline. Then they would redress and join the class,” said campus Police Chief Kevin Schmoll. Four of the 20 students in the class were forced to take their clothes off, according to Schmoll. “We felt that was very inappropriate and possibly there’s some criminal action, charges could come as a result of this,” he said.

One of the teachers is 26 years old and has been at the Head Start center for three years, according to police. The second teacher, who is 41 years old and has five years of experience in the program, was put on paid administrative leave for not reporting the unusual punishment, according to authorities. Police said they don’t believe there was any sexual contact between the adults and children.