Angry parents protest firing of St. Louis Teacher of the Year over dirty diaper

Posted at 4:58 PM, Feb 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-22 16:58:40-05

ST. LOUIS, MO. — The St. Louis Public Schools’ Preschool Teacher of the Year is getting canned over a dirty diaper, enraging the parents of some of the children in her classroom.

Fox2Now reports that the firing of popular teacher Kelly Hahn involves a 3-year-old who showed up in a pull-up diaper, a violation of school rules. When Hahn discovered the boy had slightly soiled his diaper she left it on and immediately called the parent, instead of removing it right away. Another staffer at the Wilkinson Early Childhood Center where Hahn teaches called the Missouri Department of Family Services.

That led to Hahn’s removal from the classroom in December, just two weeks after she had accepted the Teacher of the Year honor. Soon after that Hahn informed parents she is being fired on charges of child neglect and endangerment.

Parents told Fox2Now that their kids have come home from school crying, wondering what happened to their favorite teacher. Some even thought she had cancer.

“It’s pretty crazy to think that a pull-up would be considered neglect,” parent Nancy Durante told the station. “She deserves to be in the classroom teaching our children, not fighting for her job.”

Dana Evans, the president of the magnet school’s Parent Teachers Organization, spoke to KMOV-TV about Hahn.

“How can something so ludicrous, so crazy having to do with the best teacher in our school district, getting sent out and possibly getting fired over a pull-up issue,” Evans said.

The mother of the boy who wore the pull-up to school has defended Hahn.

“Regardless of the policy, what happened is so minor that it couldn’t possibly warrant incriminating a fabulous teacher,” Cynthia West told Fox2Now.

This past Thursday Hahn’s supporters confronted St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams at a meeting at another school.

Adams said the state found no indication of neglect, but the school system has different standards. “That’s the handcuffs that we have relating to personnel, we cannot discuss specific personnel issues,” he said.

Hahn has a hearing on her case March 4.