A kindergarten school teacher was arrested Jan. 15, 2014 for removing a female student’s shirt as punishment.
The suspect, Thomas Washburn, 54, was allegedly upset and shouting during class which sparked the incident at Adams Elementary School in Mesa, Ariz. The 6-year-old female student was reportedly frightened and used her shirt to cover her face. After Washburn asked the student, who’s name has not been released, to uncover her face, he removed the shirt himself after she refused, leaving her naked from the waist up. After 10 minutes, Washburn returned the girl’s clothing. A classroom aide was present during the incident.
The victim’s mother describes her daughter as “developmentally delayed” as a result of being born prematurely.
Upon dismissal at the end of the school day, Washburn informed the girl’s mother of the incident. Unsurprisingly, she was furious and reported the incident to the principal, who called police. The teacher was arrested on 25 counts of indecent exposure, one count for each student in the room, and one count of child abuse.
“He deserves what he got,” said Allison Burkhead, whose child was in Washburn’s class, to a local news reporter of KTVK. “No little kid should have to go through that.” Burkhead also commented that Washburn has always seemed “a little off.”
The investigation is ongoing as Washburn is on paid administrative leave.