Caught on surveillance video kicking a five-year-old child on the ground, a Kansas elementary school teacher has been fired and remains under investigation for potential criminal charges. The former teacher also faces a civil suit against her for kicking the innocent child.
On February 21, a surveillance camera inside the library of the Bluejacket-Flint Elementary School in Shawnee, Kansas recorded several students filing out of the building as a five-year-old girl remained behind and sat inside one of the bookshelves. Instead of calmly speaking to the child, a teacher named Crystal Smith violently grabbed the girl and threw her to the floor.
A few moments after another woman in the library turned away from them, Smith suddenly kicked the child without provocation or any valid reason. The girl’s mother contacted school officials and demanded to review the video after speaking with her daughter and observing red marks on her body.
“There was no question that we were going to do everything we could immediately to terminate that teacher and to look after that child,” Shawnee Mission School District spokesman David Smith told the Kansas City Star. “No child should have to experience that. It’s a horrible situation. We feel terrible about it and that person no longer works for us.”
In March, Smith was fired for kicking the student on video. She currently faces a civil suit and possible criminal charges.
“As a parent, I trusted the school with my daughter’s safety, and had I not pushed to find information on my own, the safety of all those students could still be at risk,” the student’s mother told NBC News. “No other family should have to experience this, and I hope school officials take meaningful action to prevent and respond to future incidents.”
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe is reviewing the incident for any potential assault and battery charges against Smith.