Manning, SC (WLTX) - An elementary school teacher is accused of putting a 6 year-old child inside a closet as a form of punishment.
Mandy White says her daughter's classroom at Manning Early Childhood School became a prison recently.
"These are people who you entrust everyday to teach and watch over your children," she says. "School is supposed to be a safe place."
According to an incident report filed with the Manning Police Department, the teacher admits she put the child in the storage room because the girl "smirked" and "lied" about doing her school work.
"Kids are afraid of the dark and you put a child in the closet for an hour and a half with the lights off," White says. "It takes a really messed up individual to do a 6 year-old child that way."
On the day of the incident, White says her daughter's teacher told her she did it as a form of time out in her class.
"I was hearing what she was saying but I was playing it in my head. I was like, wait a minute. There's got to be something. I'm not hearing this right,"says White.
In the incident report, the officer wrote down that the teacher stated that she never turned the light off or closed the door.
Furious about the incident, White and her husband Daniel met with the school principal.
"The principal kept saying it's really not a big deal, it's really a big storage room,"says Daniel.
Unsatisfied, they took the matter to the district office. "They did investigate it and the teacher did admit to putting her in there," Daniel says. "They told her not to do it anymore. That's not good practice."
In a written statement, district superintendent John Tindal says in part, "the school principal uses "time-out" areas located in classrooms as a classroom management strategy to assist those students who need a separate cooling-off area."
The school apparently has used the practice for some time.
Tindal says the district has never had a complaint about the practice before. He added, "now that the district has received a complaint, it has been determined to discontinue the use of time out areas."
Tindal says the punishment could only be used if parents consent to the practice.