A Kansas elementary teacher was caught on video kicking a 5-year-old girl — and could now face criminal charges over the disturbing incident, according to reports.
First-year teacher Crystal Smith was fired a month after whacking the kindergartner at Bluejacket-Flint Elementary School in Shawnee after finding the girl hiding in a library bookshelf, according to the Kansas City Star.
Smith is seen on camera yanking the girl from the shelf and walking away, leaving the child lying on the floor. She then returns and kicks the girl in the back — out of sight from another teacher in the room.
School officials found the surveillance footage after the girl’s mom complained the day of the Feb. 21 incident.
The mom discovered red marks on her daughter’s arm.
“I don’t like my teacher. She’s really mean. She hit me on my arm,” the girl told her mom, according to KCTV.
Smith was placed on leave and “was never again in contact with students and was terminated as soon as the investigation was complete,” school district spokesman David Smith told the Star. She was fired March 25.
“There was no question that we were going to do everything we could immediately to terminate that teacher and to look after that child,” Smith said. “No child should have to experience that.”
The girl’s family is now suing, claiming she tried to report the attack to several people but was ignored. The girl’s mother also claims she wasn’t notified about what happened.
Attorney Dan Zmijewski, who represents the family, said the girl is traumatized and “terrified of going back to that school.”
The battery was investigated by the Shawnee Police Department. Prosecutors are now reviewing the criminal case.
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