School board suspends teacher accused of locking students in closet

Alimacani Elementary teacher suspended for 5 days without pay

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Duval County School Board voted Tuesday evening to approve the suspension of an elementary school teacher accused of locking her students in a closet. 

According to the investigative report, Alimacani Elementary School teacher Linda Haggard put students in a dark closet on several occasions to calm them down before nap time.

Haggard learned at Tuesday night's school board meeting that she will serve a five-day suspension without pay from the Duval County school system for violating school district guidelines.

Those guidelines say students are never supposed to be left unattended in a closed room or even a small space like a closet. 

According to the report, the incidents began after the winter break last year.

Witnesses said Haggard would close the closet door and sometimes turn the lights out.

If the child did not calm down, she would lock the door for 30 seconds, the report said.

Haggard admitted to putting a student in the closet, but she denied locking the door shut.

Haggard has not been the subject of any prior investigations by the office of professional standards at Duval County Public Schools.

The Department of Children and Families is also investigating the allegations.

About the Author: