St. Louis police said at least four preschoolers, ages 4 and 5, were allegedly forced to remove all of their clothes and stand naked in a closet for up to ten minutes as a punishment for misbehaving.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Police Chief Kevin Schmoll told KMOV:

“Children would misbehave in class and the 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.”

The students were part of an East St. Louis Head Start program operated by Southern Illinois University at the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center.


The department said four of 20 students were victims of the cruel classroom treatment that began in early February.

The alleged abuse was finally exposed on Thursday morning after a parent complained to the program after hearing stories about the punishment from her son, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Police Chief Kevin Schmoll said the unnamed teachers, aged 26 and 41, admitted to investigators that nudity was used to discipline students.

The 26-year-old teacher behind the punishment has been with the program for about three years. The other teacher, with five years of experience, witnessed the disciplinary technique but didn’t report the incident to authorities. Schmoll said:

“The little boy who first reported it was very brave for coming forward. That is how we were able to discover this in the first place.

We are continuing to interview students, so there may be more victims we don’t know about yet.”

The Head Start program sent a letter home to parents explaining the “child safety violation” allegations. Parents in the community are outraged, Lakysha Jeffries told KMOV:

“I can’t believe they would let something like this go on.”

The program stated in the letter:

Under no circumstances does the program condone or tolerate inappropriate treatment towards children, family or staff.

The two staff members were placed on administrative leave this week.

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About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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7 Replies to “Preschooler Praised for Coming Forward After Teacher Reportedly Punished Kids by Putting Them in Closet Naked”

  • Bev 2 years ago

    Oh my God! What is wrong with our society? Such sick people, I feel so ashamed and really fear for our youth if we don’t start reeling in this ignorant kind of behavior. Put these fools in a closet naked and just throw away the key. Who checks up on these preschool facilities? They should be monitored every week for this kind of treatment and behavior to see it isn’t happening. Parents talk to your babies, be alert to sick behavior. This seems like one step away from pornography, why the disrobing??? These women should be banned from being around children!

    • Male Chauvinist 2 years ago

      Nobody checks out the staff of these places. Don’t put your kids in daycare period. You are the only person that can be trusted with your child.

    • Kim 2 years ago

      Imagine the one teacher coming up with this idea, and the other one saying Sure, sounds like a good plan to me! It always amazes me when more than one adult is involved in this kind of sick behavior.

  • Male Chauvinist 2 years ago

    Don’t put your kids in daycare. I don’t trust anyone outside of my close family and friends with my kids. Simple If you can’t care for your child don’t give birth.

  • Michael 2 years ago

    Both teachers need to be permanently prevented from working with children. Drain the swamp!

  • Tammy Ray 2 years ago

    This is why I think all classrooms should have cameras. Teachers should not be afraid of cameras if they do nothing wrong. My grandson reported many of his teachers were calling him stupid, an idiot, and he was never going to get out of the fifth grade. Also told him to wet his pants and he would get him a mop to clean it up now go sit down. I would believe these children. To many teachers get by with humiliating our children. This has to stop!

  • John F. Early 2 years ago

    A possibility in this kind of situation is that pedophiles could film the children. A naked child, maybe one in distress, might be what makes (a) pedophile(s) excited. That being one scenario, the authorities might check thoroughly for video cameras. A lot of this has apparently been going on in, e.g., the U.K. It must be fairly common in the U.S., as well.

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