Charter school investigating principal accused of locking 5-year-old student in closet

Charter school investigating principal accused of locking 5-year-old student in closet

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge charter school is investigating allegations of abuse after police issued a warrant for the arrest of its principal.

According to the warrant filed by the Baton Rouge Police Department, Shafeeq Syid Shamsid-Deen, 31, is wanted for cruelty to a juvenile (felony) and false imprisonment. He is listed as the principal of Laurel Oaks Charter School located on N. Foster Dr.

A teacher at the school reportedly contacted authorities after hearing the 5-year-old child screaming from the closet. The alleged incident happened on Aug. 22.

The teacher reportedly told investigators that no one was around the area when the child was found locked in a closet. She claims no one was supervising.

The student allegedly told the teacher that Shamsid-Deen put her in the closet because she was being "bad."

During an interview with investigators, the child reportedly told them that Shamsid-Deen told her to "go into the closet with the spiders and if she screamed he would turn the lights off."

Additionally, the child said she was in the closet "a long time," so she started screaming.

The report states that the victim's teacher admitted to hearing rumors that children were being locked in a closet as punishment, but she has never witnessed it.

The teacher who located the child reportedly emailed Shamsid-Deen about the incident. The report claims he replied via email and said, "Thank you for your observation and note. We will work to make sure we have a proper time out area for scholars to rest in the cafeteria."

A board member of Laurel Oaks says Shamsid-Deen has been placed on administrative leave. They say the case is being reviewed and they have no further comment at this time.

According to police, Shamsid-Deen has not yet been placed into custody.

WAFB previously reported that Shamsid-Deen had turned himself in Wednesday night. That was incorrect, we apologize for the error.

Below is a copy of the arrest warrant:

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