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Teacher fell asleep during school, leaving toddlers unsupervised

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Five minutes could’ve been enough time for a deadly mistake to happen, a parent was reported saying after it was revealed one of the teachers at her toddler’s daycare class in Hobe Sound, Florida, had fallen asleep during class – in the class – as a second teacher was gone in a bathroom, leaving the children unsupervised.

It may be have only been a few minutes, but it was enough time for 2-year-olds to find trouble, according to Rachel Nee, whose 2-year-old son was one of five children in the class during the incident on Feb. 20.

Nee said she wasn’t notified about it by the center but got a call from DCF, informing her about the investigation, according to the NBC-affiliate in West Palm Beach, News 5.

The Department of Children and Families confirmed they are investigating the Dunbar Center, but couldn’t elaborate on an active investigation, per standard protocol.

“It was absolutely the worst phone call I’ve ever received,” Nee said on Wednesday. “I actually broke down and cried.”

DCF told Nee the teacher had fallen asleep in class.

“I think we should have been informed and other parents should have been informed when things like this happen and I shouldn’t receive a phone call from DCF,” Nee said, implying the school should have disclosed the information on their own, not through DCF.

The director of the Dunbar Center, Paul Kelly, confirmed the incident to on Friday.

He said two teachers were looking after the children when one of them left to go to the bathroom. The other teacher then fell asleep.

Kelly said the teacher had taken over-the-counter PM painkillers, which he said was a clear mistake on her part.

The Dunbar Center has about 90 children, many of them with special needs, according to Kelly.

Last year a DCF inspection found that the center had cleaning supplies accessible to children.

The report from March 8 said: “Bleach water was accessible in three classrooms.”

Les Neuhaus is an all-platform journalist, with specialties in print reporting and writing. In addition to Florida Politics, he freelances as a general-assignment and breaking-news reporter for most of the major national daily newspapers, along with a host of digital media, and a human rights group. A former foreign correspondent across Africa and Asia, including the Middle East, Les covered a multitude of high-profile events in chronically-unstable nations. He’s a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, in which he served as a Security Policeman, and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in political science. He is a proud father to his daughter and enjoys spending time with his family.

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