The video clearly shows the teacher kicking the child as she was lying on the floor of the classroom
The mother of a five-year-old kindergarten student says her daughter’s teacher kicked her while she was lying on the floor of the classroom, and that the school did nothing about it. But the entire incident was captured on video — and it absolutely verifies what the little girl says happened.
The incident occurred during the school day in a kindergarten classroom at Bluejacket Flint Elementary school in Shawnee, Kansas. The mother shared her story with KCTV5 News, but did not want her identity to be revealed. She notes that her daughter had complained about her teacher before — citing a conversation she had with her daughter back in February when she told her that her teacher was “mean” and hit her on her arm.
After noticing a red mark on the child’s arm, her mom tried meeting with school officials about it but nothing was done. From that point on, the mom recorded every single conversation she had with her daughter’s teachers and school staff.
In one recording, obtained by KCTV5, the girl’s mother meets with the teacher in question, Crystal Smith. “So, I’m not surprised she has some marks on her,” the teacher says in the recording. “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.” Smith says the girl hurt herself trying to pull books down from the bookshelf, and that the “metal dividers” were to blame for her injury.
The video clearly shows that is not the case. Warning: this is not easy to watch.
Smith had described a violent outburst coming from the five-year-old. What actually happened was very different. You can see the girl not wanting to get in line with the rest of her class, so she crawls up into the bookshelf while everyone else leaves for the library. Smith finds her, grabs her roughly by the arm, pulls her down to the ground, and kicked her directly in her back as she lay on the floor.
It’s despicable. The abuse, the lying — all of it. It doesn’t matter what a child is doing in the classroom, violently kicking a five-year-old is absolutely never an acceptable response. Even if the child was being chaotic — which it doesn’t appear that she was — a teacher’s job is to find the calm in the situation. Not join them in the chaos. Watching a grown adult kick a small child is absolutely sickening.
The mother was able to obtain the video after pushing to school to allow her to see it once she became aware of its existence. “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,” the mom tells KCTV5. “She lied to everyone else. She was almost really convincing.”
What’s also disturbing is that if the little girl hadn’t ever told her mother what happened, who knows what else would have continued to occur in the classroom? Who knows what other trauma already has occurred? “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 said.
The Shawnee Mission School District says Smith was put on leave pending an investigation but was officially terminated from her position on March 25th.
“The Shawnee Mission School District was deeply distressed by the actions shown in the video,” the school says in a statement to KCTV5. “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.”
The local district attorney’s office is currently reviewing the case to determine whether to press charges against the teacher.