School officials in Caldwell are trying to decide what to do with a teacher who left a 5-year-old boy in a small room by himself, then forgot about him and went home for the day.
James Cagle said he and his wife went to Washington Elementary School Wednesday after their son Tanner didnt come home on the school bus as scheduled.
Cagle, a 40-year-old network engineer, said he called the school and was told the boy was on the bus and to call the bus system, but bus officials denied the boy was ever there. It wasnt until his wife walked to their sons classroom that they realized he was still in the building. Tanners coat and backpack were still there. His mother opened the door to the room just down the hall from the classroom, and found him on the concrete floor crying.
The boys teacher, Sara Klure, said she put him there for acting out but didnt recall when, Cagle said. School officials reached her by phone after the boy was found.
Cagle has moved his son to another school, and hes eager to know how the district is dealing with Klure.
But school officials say they cant discuss Klures possible punishment because its a personnel issue. They did confirm that she violated policy when she left the boy without supervision.
Were reviewing all our policies and procedures as it pertains to this incident, said Monica White, assistant superintendent in the Caldwell district.
White said Monday that no decision has been made as to Klures fate. She deserves her due process rights as well, White said.
She declined to say if Klure was still teaching. Cagle said Klure wasnt in the classroom as of Monday.
I would love for her to get fired, but in the same breath, I went to college and spent a lot of money doing that. Its hard to take away somebodys dreams of what they want to be, Cagle said. But within the rules and guidelines of what you choose, theres rewards and theres punishments.
Cagle said the incident traumatized Tanner and made him fearful of school.
They wanted him to go back the next day but he cried saying he didnt want to go back to the room and go back to school, Cagle said. And this is a kid who loves school.
Tanner was scheduled to begin at Wilson Elementary School Tuesday. Cagle said he and his wife are trying to arrange transportation and day care to manage Tanner going to a school further from home.
He said he wont let his son return to the school unless he knows how Klure will be punished.
If they expect me to go back to that school, I want to know whats going on with the teacher, Cagle said. Without us knowing ... its kind of hard to make an informed decision.
White said she and other school leaders are concerned about the incident.
The biggest thing in our job is to protect kids, make sure theyre safe and make sure they get a quality education, White said. When theres a breakdown, no matter where it comes from, nobody feels good about it. Meghann M. Cuniff: 377-6418