A school teacher at Trousdale County Elementary School in Hartsdale, Tennessee has been charged with one count of child abuse after security cameras caught her dragging a 4-year-old girl by the ankles.
According to The Huffington Post, the pre-K teacher, identified as Carla Haynes, allegedly pushed the child onto her back, then grabbed her legs and dragged her approximately 15 feet. A school resource officer witnessed the incident via the school’s security cameras, which were installed less than a year ago.
“We apologize that this has happened,” said Trousdale County Director of Schools Dr. Clint Satterfield. “This is not who we are as a school system.”
Parentology reached out to Trousdale County Elementary principal Demetrice Badru to ask if there was an impetus for installing the cameras in the first place, such as a previous event involving an instructor and student. We also asked what steps she might take to guard against future incidents of this nature.
Badru deferred to Dr. Satterfield, who refused to comment.
“Ensuring the safety of children is obviously a top priority for the Department and for all 147 districts across the state,” said Jay Klein, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Education. Klein told Parentology that the DOE works “hand in hand” with the Department of Child Services to investigate incidents in which teacher-student abuse may have occurred.
Parentology asked if the Department of Education has any specific plans to prevent these types of incidents from recurring in the Tennessee school system.
“Since DCS handles reports and investigation of such cases,” Klein said, “the role of the DOE is primarily to ensure that districts, teachers, and other school officials understand their obligations under state law to report cases of suspected abuse.”
Meanwhile, in Shawnee, Kansas, an elementary school teacher could face criminal charges after being caught on camera yanking a five-year-old girl off a bookshelf and kicking her in the back. The little girl’s mother contacted school officials after finding red marks on her daughter’s arm, and after her daughter said that the teacher hit her.
School officials at Bluejacket-Flint Elementary School saw the incident occur on surveillance footage. The teacher, Crystal Smith, has since been fired.
In a report dated 2015-16, the Digest of Education Statistics said that more than 90% of public schools in the United States are equipped with surveillance cameras.