A Kansas elementary school teacher has been caught on camera kicking a five-year-old kindergarten student and aggressively grabbing the child during library class.
Teacher Crystal Smith was caught on surveillance footage at Bluejacket Flint elementary school in Shawnee kicking a toddler who was hiding in a bookshelf in the library on February 21.
In the clip the teacher can be seen approaching the young girl and grabbing her arm to get her out of the cubby hole then kicking her back as the girl laid sprawled on the ground.
The girl reported she was hit to her homeroom teacher who failed to report it to the school’s administration.
Kansas teacher Crystal Smith (left in black) was fired after she was caught on camera kicking and aggressively grabbing a five-year-old kindergarten student (pictured in pink hiding in a bookshelf at the library)
When the girl refused to exit the bookshelf Smith kicked the child in the back. The incident took place on February 21 at Bluejacket Flint Elementary school in Shawnee, Kansas
The teacher grabbed the girl to get her off the floor, leaving her with a red mark on her arm
When the girl’s mother picked her up from school and asked how her day was, the child responded, ‘I don’t like my teacher. She’s really mean. She hit me on my arm.’
Her mother then noticed a large red mark on the child’s arm.
Outraged the mother called the school principal to learn about what happened.
Then the mother met with Crystal Smith, the teacher accused of hitting the girl. But Smith diverted blame to the child for the welt.
‘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..’ Smith said.
Unsatisfied, the mother demanded for video of the incident. The school confirmed the next day there was video, but more than a week passed before the video was released to the mother.
When the girl’s mother picked her up from school and asked how her day was, the child responded, ‘I don’t like my teacher. She’s really mean. She hit me on my arm’, showing a red mark on her arm as proof
The girl’s outraged mother called the school principal to learn about what happened and demanded to see video of the incident after Smith denied hurting the child
Smith claimed that the girl gave herself the red mark on her arm by crawling around in the bookshelf
A closer look: This zoomed in shot showed the moment Smith kicked the child in the back
Then the teacher grabbed the child to bring her off the floor
‘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 little girl’s mother said upon seeing the video
‘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 said to KCTV5.
Contrary to Smith’s claims, the video shows the little girl refusing to get in the line with her peers and crawling into the bookshelf.
After the class leaves the library, the teacher returns and finds the girl in the bookshelf. Smith then grabs the child by the arm, drags her to the ground, and gives her rough kick in the back.
‘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.
Now she worries about what other children may have been hurt behind closed doors.
Following an investigation, Smith was fired from the school on March 25
Smith was put on leave pending the end of an investigation and was officially terminated on March 25.
Following the shocking incident, the Shawnee Mission School District issued a statement.
‘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,’ the statement said.
The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office is also reviewing the case to determine whether to press charges.