Parents protest firing of Teacher of the Year over dirty diaper

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ST. LOUIS -- Parents in St. Louis are protesting the recent firing of an award-winning preschool teacher over what they say was her response to a child with a soiled diaper.

According to KTVI, Kelly Hahn, teacher at Wilkinson Early Childhood Center, won her school's "Pre-K Teacher of the Year" award back in November. Fifteen days after winning the award, Hahn was put on administrative leave.

According to a letter Hahn received from the school district, she’s now being fired for child neglect and endangerment, KTVI reports.

Parents said the teacher's firing involved a 3-year-old who showed up in a pull-up diaper, which was a violation of school rules. KTVI reported that when Hahn noticed the diaper, she left it on the child and notified the parent, instead of removing the diaper right away.

The child's diaper was reportedly lightly soiled. After witnessing this, another school staff member called the Missouri Department of Family Services, according to reports.

Parents told KTVI  their kids were upset over Hahn's absence. Some came home crying every day, wondering where she was.

Some kids even thought Hahn had cancer, KTVI reported.

Many parents attended a meeting held by St. Louis Public Schools superintendent Kelvin Adams at Humboldt Academy of Higher Learning. Some could be seen holding signs in the crowd with words of support for the teacher.

Among the parents who were upset over the school's decision was the mother of the child who came to school wearing the pull-up diaper.

“Regardless of the policy, what happened is so minor that it couldn’t possibly warrant incriminating a fabulous teacher,” mother Cynthia West said in a phone interview with KTVI.

A hearing for Hahn's case is set for March 4.

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    • Racheal

      The school has a policy of no diapers / Pull ups.
      This is an elementary school. Teaching grades pre-k through 2nd grade.
      It is not a day care/ preschool

  • Racheal

    This amazing teacher does NOT deserve what is happening to her. I do not understand how you can go from being teacher of the year to fired within 15 days. All 3 of my kiddos had her along with my both of my nieces. She is the reason my kids loved school. She is the one who set the foundation for their entire academic career.. All 3 of my kids will still tell you she is one of their favorite teachers that they could never forget. I went on field trips with her & the students & the kids were having a blast while learning at the same time because of her. My daughter asked for her to be at her graduation party, How many kids ask for their preschool teacher to be at something like that ? She really is an amazing teacher and person.She knows she has our families support 100%.

  • petfriendly2

    It sounds to me that this teacher did exactly what she was supposed to do. Had she changed the pull-up, she’d have probably been fired for (even criminally charged with) some sort of abuse. Teachers live on the edge these days. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. A little common sense goes a long way. Administrators and parents need to employ some common sense.