A former Baton Rouge area principal accused of locking a student in a closet as punishment at Laurel Oaks Charter school has been accused of punishing two other students in the same way, according to arrest warrants filed on Thursday.
Shafeeq Syid Shamsid Deen, 31, was arrested on cruelty to a juvenile and false imprisonment in September. He now faces the same counts in incidents involving two other students that their guardians reported to Baton Rouge police, according to the new warrants.
A kindergarten student told investigators on Sept. 15 that Shamsid-Deen locked him in a cafeteria closet several times between January and April of 2017, according to the warrant. The boy said he was locked in the dark closet, which could only be opened from the outside, because he was talking in the lunch room.
The boy's mother told police she never consented to Shamsid-Deen locking her son in the closet as punishment.
Another kindergartener told police on Sept. 29 that she was locked in the closet in April for talking during a movie in the cafeteria, according to a second arrest warrant. After the incident, the mother of the 5-year-old girl went to the school to talk to Shamsid-Deen, who told her that the girl was put in a "time out room," but never locked in a closet.
After the woman read about Shamsid-Deen's previous arrest, she realized her daughter was telling the truth, according to the warrant.
Police said the doorknob of the closet could only be opened from the outside and the closet contained buckets of paint, a ladder, garbage cans and a small chair inside the door "that appeared to be there so students could sit down while inside the closet," according to the warrants.
Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely Jr. said Shamsid-Deen had not been arrested as of Friday afternoon, but a detective had spoken with Shamsid-Deen's attorney about him turning himself in.
Laurel Oaks Charter School board president Brian Adams said on Friday afternoon that he did not have a comment on the case as it was still under investigation.
Shamsid-Deen, of 999 N. 9th St., was initially accused of locking a 5-year-old girl in the closet on Aug. 22 after three teachers found the girl inside crying and screaming. The girl told police the closet "stinks" and "it has spiders and roaches in it that crawl on her," according to the report.
A warrant was issued for his arrest on Sept. 11 and he turned himself in to Baton Rouge police on Sept. 15.
Shamsid-Deen founded the school at 440 N. Foster Drive as part of a fellowship program through the Boston-based Building Excellent Schools, although he did not finish the program. He was suspended from working at the school after the first arrest.