Breckenridge Texan

BHS teacher put on leave for chaining classroom door shut

BHS teacher put on leave for chaining classroom door shut
April 20
14:53 2018

UPDATE: At 3:03 p.m. Friday, April 20, Breckenridge ISD Superintendent Tim Seymore issued a press release with additional information regarding the incident in which a high school teacher chained a classroom door shut on Thursday. According to the release, the back doors of the classroom were also locked at one point in time.

Here is Seymore’s complete statement:

At the time of the initial press release this morning relating to the incident of a door being chained just before lunch period on April 19, 2018, we relied mostly on what was discovered by the assistant principal upon arrival at the classroom a few minutes after being notified by another teacher that she saw the door being chained. At that time, the assistant principal unchained the door and entered the classroom. At that time the back doors were not chained or locked. The teacher stated he locked the doors to keep kids from going to lunch before he dismissed them.
This afternoon, a student provided a video taken from her phone which showed that a few minutes before the assistant principal opened the front door, the back doors were locked, but not chained, with the teacher inside the classroom.
Althought his does not change the outcome of the situation, as the teacher has been removed from the classroom, it does serve to clear up some confusion related to questions about door being locked versus barred by chain.
Our intent to act quickly when situations arise which may jeopardize the safety of our kids led us to place a teacher on administrative leave, even before the investigation was completed. An appropriate, long term substitute, will be placed in that class for the remainder of the school year.
We apologize to all students, parents, and community members for the inappropriate actions of a teacher, but are thankful for the quick reaction and diligence of our high school administration to rectify the situation.
Tim Seymore

The following is the Breckenridge Texan’s original article on the incident, based on an interview with Seymore Friday afternoon:

A Breckenridge High School woodshop teacher was placed on administrative leave Friday morning, April 20, and will remain on leave indefinitely, after chaining a classroom door shut on Thursday to prevent students from leaving class early, according to Tim Seymore, Breckenridge Independent School District superintendent.

“There was a chain and a padlock put on the exterior of the door that leaves the classroom,” Seymore said. “He kept (the students) in to keep them from going to lunch early.”

The incident happened Thursday before lunch, and another teacher reported the situation to the principal, who removed the chain within a few minutes of it happening, the superintendent said. “We rectified it as soon as we knew about it,” he said. “He is not in the classroom; he has indefinitely been removed from that classroom.”

Although chaining or otherwise blocking the door constitutes a fire code violation, the classroom opens up into a shop area that had doors which were not barred, Seymore said. No one was harmed or physically detained, he said, and he does not expect a criminal investigation or charges to stem from the event.

“There was some inherent danger, in that had there been a fire break out in the shop area and the kids could not have exited through the shop area, they would’ve been in trouble. That is the inherent danger and why code requires that doors don’t be chained,” he said.

The parents of each student in the class were contacted by the principal.

Seymore declined to identify the teacher involved in the incident, explaining that he doesn’t comment on employee discipline. He said the next step will be decided between himself, the teacher and the School Board of Trustees, if necessary.

Seymore’s issued the following official statement regarding the incident:

Upon investigation, the Breckenridge ISD Administration has confirmed that a teacher did bar a classroom door from the outside just before release time for lunch. The determination of the administration is that this created a potentially unsafe situation and was clearly an inappropriate action by the teacher. At no time were the students physically confined to the classroom as the classroom opens into a shop area which has multiple exits which were not barred. A teacher was placed on administrative leave this morning and will remain as such, indefinitely. The safety of our students is and will remain our first priority.


Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Support The Breckenridge Texan


Title of the document Sign up for our
Click Here
Verified by MonsterInsights