Two Florida women were arrested for posting a Snapchat video of themselves taunting an 8-year-old Autustic child. Kaderrica Smith ,26, and Alexus Henderson, 20, have been charged with an incident that allegedly occurred on September 1st at the Our Children's Academy in Winter Have, FL. The pair turned themselves in to police after learning of a warrant out for their arrest. Smith was charged with child abuse and battery while Henderson was charged with child neglect. Both women were fired from their jobs.
In a court appearance on Friday, Smith's bond was set at $5,000 and ordered that she not be allowed around kids, including her own. She has three children and coaches various activities for them. Local news outlets report that Henderson was the one who took the video and that she laughed almost the entire time. You can hear Smith taunting the autistic kid like calling him a chicken for crying underneath a table. She is also caught on camera throwing a backpack at the boy after he declines to get out from under the table. Allegedly Smith also tripped the kid when he finally left his hiding spot and he fell on his face.
A former parent of a child who attended the school, where Smith and Henderson worked in the capacity as paraeducators, said that she has previously removed her autistic child from the school after observing an unnamed employee mistreating one of the pupils.
The Department of Education told reporters that since Henderson and Smith are not required to have teaching certificates as paraeducators.
The child in the video is said to be still attending the school. If that's the case, then was it really as bad as it looked? Wouldn't the parents be better judges of that? Or, perhaps the parents' judgement is off, forcing police to act on behalf of the abused child. Should Child Investigative Services be looking into why the parents would continue to keep their child enrolled at a school where caretakers have been charged with multiple charges of abusing their child?
Winter Haven Police Chief Charlie Bird noted that while the child was being difficult, the caretakers were acting worse than the 8-year-old.