A 55-year-old teacher from Kansas was sentenced to one-year probation after she was caught kicking a five-year-old kindergarten student for hiding in the school library. The incident had taken place in the Bluejacket-Flint Elementary School in Shawnee, Kansas in February last year.
Earlier, the former teacher was given a 30-day jail term, which was later turned into a longer sentence. The teacher, identified as Crystal Smith, has also been asked to enroll for anger management classes after she pleaded guilty to the crime. The hearing in the case was conducted last week.
5-year-old Victim Was Hiding in the Bookshelf
The video caught on the security camera showed the victim crawling inside a bookshelf opening in the school library. The child crawls towards the bookshelf as her classmates form a line to leave the library.
As the rest of the class leaves the library, the victim is seen pulling out few books from the lower shelf as crawls inside it to lie down.
Smith, who is talking with a woman in the video comes near the bookshelf and is seen picking up the books from the floor and yanking the child outside. As the child keeps lying on the library floor, Smith waits for the other staff member to leave the spot.
Later, Smith kicks the girl twice before pulling her to make her stand.
Victim Told Mother That Her 'Teacher Is Really Mean'
According to Daily Mail the school authorities did not inform the victim's parents about the incident. It was only after the child narrated the ordeal to her mother, an action was initiated.
On being asked how day was, the child told her mother, "I don't like my teacher. She's really mean. She hit me on my arm." The outlet reported that after spotting a large red mark on the girl's arm, the mother approached the school authorities.
On being confronted, Smith denied any wrongdoing and insisted that the victim was herself to be blamed for the red marks on her body. The school authorities ordered an enquiry and placed Smith on leave. A month after the incident, she was removed from her job.
Stating that the incident left a devastating impact on the victim, Dan Zmijewski, the family's attorney, said that not only is it traumatic because it happened, but the school didn't do anything about it until her mother came to school to find out what happened.
"So not only is the girl having to deal with what happened to her, but she also has to deal with nobody doing anything about it and trying to suggest it didn't even happen. At first she was completely, totally terrified of schools and libraries because it happened in the library ... that is unfortunately one of the safest places you think you can go as a child,' said the attorney.