Baton Rouge Charter School Principal Accused of Locking Kindergartner in Closet
A charter school principal in Baton Rouge has been accused of locking a kindergartner in a broom closet.
Shafeeq Syid Shamsid-Deen, the 31-year-old principal at Laurel Oaks Charter, will be arrested on felony cruelty to a juvenile and misdemeanor false imprisonment charges according to a warrant signed on Monday.
The alleged incident happened on August 22 when a teacher heard a child crying and screaming but could not find her. Two other teachers joined in on the search which eventually led to them finding a hysterical 5-year-old girl in a closet in the school cafeteria which was locked from the outside.
Police say the closet had paint, garbage bags, a ladder and a small chair sitting just inside the door.
The student told investigators that Shamsid-Deen would put her in the closet when she was "bad". She also said that if she screamed, he would turn off the light in the closet.
The girl also told authorities that it was "nasty and gross" and the closet had spiders and roaches.
One of the teachers told police that she sent an email to the principal objecting to this type of punishment. Police said his response was: "Thank you for your observation and note. We will work to make sure we have a proper time out area for scholars to reset in the cafeteria."