Northfield school district fires employee for allegedly giving melatonin to infant at daycare

A Northfield, Minnesota school district employee was fired this week after they allegedly put melatonin into the bottle of at least one infant under their care at a daycare. 

Northfield Public Schools started an investigation after staff at the Early Ventures childcare center at the Northfield Community Education Center found small tablets in the infant room, Superintendent Matt Hillmann said in a letter to families. The investigation found one employee placed what’s believed to be a child-sized melatonin table into at least one child’s bottle, but possibly more. Melatonin is a sleep aid commonly used to treat sleep disorders such as insomnia and jet lag. 

School district policies prohibit the administration of any substances without parents’ permission, Hillmann said. The employee was terminated immediately following the results of the investigation. 

“Northfield Public Schools is angered by the appalling actions of this rogue former employee,” Hillmann said. “We place the highest priority on trusting relationships with our community and understand this isolated incident may impact that trust. We will work diligently to rebuild that trust with our community.”

Hillmann said the school district has reached out to all the families potentially affected by the employee’s actions. They have also filed a report with police and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.