A Virginia elementary school teacher apparently punished her 10-year-old son by locking him outside the house in the cold, Fairfax County Police said.
About 10:30 p.m. Thursday night, a neighbor saw a 10-year-old boy without a coat alone on the back deck of a townhouse in the Alexandria section of the county. The temperature was in the 40s.
“The 10-year-old male that was on the rear deck of the house appeared to be scared, he was crying and he was knocking on the door of the residence,” said Roger Henriquez, of Fairfax County Police.
When officers knocked on the door, a 12-year-old girl answered with her brother by her side, wrapped in a blanket and shivering. Inside, police found their mother, Julia Brandt, 31. They questioned her and filed felony child neglect charges, police said.
“The preliminary investigation showed that it appears that the mother was upset with the kids,” Henriquez said.
Brandt taught the third grade at Lane Elementary School, but she was suspended without pay following the neglect charge.
The school sent a letter home to parents explaining Brandt’s absence.
Her children are in the care of relatives.