Parents allege daughter, 8, detained in school closet
School board discounts claim, says principal took 'appropriate and necessary' action
The parents of a Grade 3 student at a St. John's elementary school claim administrators made their daughter serve detention for most of a day in a supply closet.
The Eastern School District, though, said the administrators did nothing wrong and some of the family's accusations were false.
Christine and Chris Lee said their eight-year-old girl has not been the same since she was disciplined last month a Rennie's River Elementary school for having made a disparaging comment on the playground about the school principal.
"She said, 'Mom, I was put in a closet all day for school,'" Christine Lee told CBC News.
The Lees said that several days after the incident, the principal and vice-principal put their daughter in a supply closet, and kept her there until she apologized.
"The principal had finally come in to speak with her where she did apologized, and the librarian remained to keep her in there," she said.
Lee says her daughter hasn't been to school since the incident happened three weeks ago.
"Right now, she's traumatized and she doesn't have any trust in her teachers," she said, adding that her daughter, who also has ADHD, has been having sleeping problems since the incident.
Chris Lee said he and his wife believe the administrators should be removed from the school.
No wrongdoing found in investigations
But Bruce Vey, the director of the Eastern School District, said both a school board and a separate Royal Newfoundland Constabulary investigation found no wrongdoing.
The school board shared its findings with the parents earlier this week.
"We found that the school administrators took the appropriate and necessary steps in dealing with this particular case," said Vey, who countered key claims about the case.
"What I can say is that the allegation of locking a student in a confined room for the day is simply false," Vey said.
He said the child was put in office space, and that the detention lasted for several periods.
"The child may have been in a space for a period of time, but certainly not for the entire day," Vey said.
He said the school board's priority now is to see the girl return to class.
"We are going to work with the parents, we have met with the parents and we will continue to meet with the parents," said Vey.
"Our priority right now is the child's education and to ensure the child is back in school and receiving the best quality education."
The Lees, however, do not accept the findings of the investigation, and want disciplinary action brought against the Rennie's River Elementary administrators.