Teacher and aide fired for putting Pre-K kids in ‘Monster Closet - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Teacher and aide fired for putting Pre-K kids in ‘Monster Closet’

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Thursday, 4-year-old Kelon Chaney was singing and coloring but two days prior, life wasn't so good.

It started out fine: he and other pre-K students at Varnett Charter School were listening to their teacher read a story called "After School Monsters".  The book refers to monsters in the closet.

"They used the monster in a closet as means of discipline and trying to correct behavior that is just unacceptable, especially for 3-year-olds," said Varnett Superintendent Dr. Annette Cluff.

When one boy acted up, the teacher and her aide put him in a closet inside the classroom.

"Not only was a closet unacceptable, that particular closet was as well," Cluff said.

"This is a custodial closet and it says in black letters ‘custodial closet'," said Kelon's mom, Kelisha Johnson-Chaney.

After Kelon and three other kids laughed at the boy who was placed in the closet, guess where they ended up.

"There was a monster and the monster was going to eat me," Kelon said.

The teacher closed the door to the dark closet filled with cleaning supplies.

"Yes she did," said Kelon.

Kelon would do what any 4-year-old would do, he cried.  "Yes I did," Kelon replied.

But he didn't scream.  "No I didn't scream," said Kelon, "That's bad."  But he cried so hard he threw up.

Kelon's grandma had to come get him.  "He said that granny they put me in a closet in the dark and she said what? He repeated it again," said Kelon's mom.

Kelon did learn something during the time he spent in the custodial closet.

"She said there was a monster in there; there was no monster in that closet," Keylon pointed out.

"I was appalled when I hear about it," the superintendent said.

Dr. Cluff fired the teacher and the teacher's aide.  "I'm a grandma, I'm a mother and I wouldn't allow that kind of behavior with my own child," Cluff said.

Kelon's mother is pleased with how the school handled the situation but adds Kelon won't be going back.  She doesn't want him anywhere near that particular closet.

"There's going to be closets, there's going to be closets in a lot of places, but they won't be closets he was locked in," Chaney said.

"Since I got in the monster closet, she should have got in the monster closet," Kelon said.

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