Teacher's After Hours Hide And Seek Game Prompts Disciplinary Actions

October 14, 2004 – Posted at 4:46 p.m. CDT

CARUTHERSVILLE -- Alleged inappropriate behavior by some Caruthersville teachers has prompted disciplinary action from school officials.

K8 news obtained a copy of a confidential memo sent out to all Caruthersville Public Schools Staff from the superintendent. It addresses "an event involving Caruthersville school personnel took place that was a result of a mistake in professional judgment."

Superintendent Nick Thiele said, "We had some staff members that one night they, I think, just chose to go into one of the buildings of the elementary school to play hide and seek. I think it was one of those I dare you to do this, I dare you to do that."

Thiele says there was no evidence of sexual activity or consumption of alcohol with the six elementary teachers involved.

"I still maintain it was a matter of poor judgment than anything else. Again, none of the facilities were damaged in any way. No students were effected in any way directly," said Thiele.

The memo goes on to read, "an investigation into the event has been completed by the administration, and appropriate actions have been taken and consequences have been levied."

"There have been some disciplinary actions taken against the staff members that because of the nature of the situation and the personnel those will remain confidential," said Thiele.

According to Superintendent Thiele, the incident was brought to his attention 12 days after the fact. Too late to check out the story that could have been caught on tape.

"They were probably on tape. However, that building has a seven-day tape loop. After seven days, the tapes are regenerated and taped over," said Thiele.

But erasing this scandal from a small town will take time.

"This is something that's embarrassing as well as taking away the focus of our mission. And so, as a result I think there was some, a little bit of damage done within our own self here as to how well we're going to continue to function," said Thiele, "and we're building that back."

None of the teachers involved were fired and at this time their disciplinary actions are being kept confidential.