Should a teacher change a dirty diaper? A former “teacher of the year” was fired over a dirty diaper, causing outcry among parents. Two weeks after teacher Kelly Hahn was named the pre-K teacher of the year at the Wilkinson Early Childhood Center in St Louis, she was put on leave and ultimately fired. Parents are now making a stink over the fact their beloved teacher was sacked. Her wrongdoing? A 3-year-old child came to school wearing a diaper, and when it became soiled, Miss Hahn didn’t change him. The school called it “neglect.” Parents are calling it “absurd.”
Explains People.com on Feb. 23: “It starts with a dirty diaper. When Hahn discovered a 3-year-old boy was sent to school with a pull-up diaper – in violation of the school’s rules – she immediately called his parents, Fox 2 reports. The problem? His diaper was soiled and she left it on the child instead of removing it. After witnessing this, another staff member contacted the Missouri Department of Family Services and Hahn was terminated for child neglect and endangerment.”
Adds Fox News: “Parents told Fox2Now that their kids have come home from school crying, wondering what happened to their favorite teacher. Some even thought she had cancer.”
The school said hundreds of emails have poured in demanding that Hahn be reinstated. Parent T.J. Gilmor, whose two boys were taught by Hahn, said: “It is mind-blowing, actually. My wife and I are both enraged by the whole situation. She is a fabulous teacher,” Gilmor said, adding: “We couldn’t speak more highly of her.”
T.J.’s wife, Sue Gilmor, said: “I just want what’s best for her, what’s best for my kids. And what’s best for him is having his teacher back. She loves those kids, and there’s no substitute for that.”
President of the local PTA, Dana Evans, echoed those sentiments, calling Hahn “one of those people that I would say is the glue that holds Wilkinson together.”
Parent Nancy Durante, who has a child in Hahn’s class, said: “It’s pretty crazy to think that a pull-up would be considered neglect. She deserves to be in the classroom teaching our children, not fighting for her job.” Hahn has been temporarily replaced with a substitute who is not certified to teach.
Cynthia West is the parent who sent her son to school in a diaper. Even she believes the punishment is excessive. “Regardless of the policy, what happened is so minor that it couldn’t possibly warrant incriminating a fabulous teacher,” said West.
The Daily Mail. which carried photos of Hahn, reported that another teacher notified the Missouri Department of Family Services, and an investigation was conducted that found no signs of neglect on Hahn’s part. Nevertheless, she received a letter last month dismissing her.
St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams says they are prevented from commenting on the matter. “That’s the handcuffs that we have relating to personnel, we cannot discuss specific personnel issues,” Adams said.
Your thoughts below: Should this teacher of the year have been fired over a dirty pull-up diaper?