A middle school teacher in Oklahoma has been sacked after school officials alleged that she put students into her car trunk to run an errand. The Huffington Post reports:
Heather Cagle, who taught at Wells Middle School in Catoosa, allegedly packed 11 of her students into her Honda Accord last October for a trip to Walmart for snacks, according to Fox 23. Seven of the kids piled into the backseat, two rode in front, and two 12-year-old girls were locked in the trunk. She did not have parental or school permission for the snack quest.
“It was a terrible mistake,” she told the school board Wednesday. “I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I just wanted to do something nice.”
She then drove to a Walmart store just behind the middle school. The two buildings share a parking lot, according to KJRH.
While an attorney for Catoosa Public Schools called the act “mental abuse”, Cagle’s lawyer says the teacher merely violated a seatbelt law, and pointed out she didn’t force any of the children into the car.
Neverhteless, the board voted to axe the teacher, who has worked for the school since 2005.
“No parent or grandparent or guardian should ever expect that any teacher, particularly not an experienced teacher, will take their children off campus in the trunk of a personal vehicle,” attorney Karen Long told Tulsa World.