The mother of a five-year-old is irate after her daughter’s teacher was seen on video kicking her child.
“I can’t really even put it into words. I hurt for my child, and I was just angry that someone could do that,” the mother told CBS46.
The mother asked not to be named publicly, but said the Kansas school district was uncooperative when she relayed her five-year-old’s report of abuse to the administration. The teacher, Crystal Smith, initially lied about about the incident.
Smith said in a meeting, recorded by the mother:
“So, I’m not surprised she has some marks on her. She was crawling in the bookshelf. She has a red spot on her arm. And I’m not surprised because she shoved herself into that bookshelf…I mean, she kicked me a couple of times. She was reaching over into the bookshelf pulling books out and there were those metal, metal book divider things … I said don’t we can’t do that. So I put myself kind of standing around her so that if she does throw something she wouldn’t break something…”
Unsatisfied, the mother pushed for more information. Eventually, the video was released showing the teacher kicking her daughter in the back.
“When I saw the video it was heartbreaking, because everything she said, she sat at the same table as me and just lied about everything … she lied to me. She lied to everyone else. She was almost really convincing,” the mother reportedly said.
She then accused the school of a coverup.
“I said, ‘OK, had my child not said anything to me, you were just going to go behind closed doors and speak to everyone else, and if something came up then you’d let me know? But had she not said anything to me it all. I may not have ever known,” she said.
After the mother dogged the school district, Smith was out on leave and eventually fired at the end of March.
The school district put out a statement about the incident:
The Shawnee Mission School District was deeply distressed by the actions shown in the video. We take our responsibility to keep our children safe extremely seriously, and as parents and educators, we are heartbroken whenever a child is not treated with love and respect. As soon as we discovered what happened, we acted to remove the teacher from contact with students, and proceeded immediately to terminate that teacher.
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