St. Paul teacher suspended after 5-year-old wanders away

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A St. Paul kindergarten teacher has been suspended after one of her 5-year-old students was found wandering nearly a mile from the elementary school.

The Pioneer Press reports that Como Elementary teacher Angela Birchland told investigators that the boy may have walked out of school on May 7 while students were preparing to go home.

Birchland told investigators that she usually relies on her educational assistant to watch students in the hallway near the end of the school day.

The school's employee discipline letter says Birchland initially disregarded a teaching assistant's request to contact the school office after she noticed the boy was missing.

Birchland has been working for the school district since 1998 and has never been disciplined before. She declined to comment to the newspaper.