The Shawnee Mission School District fired Bluejacket-Flint Elementary School teacher Crystal Smith last month following an investigation into the reported battery of a child.
Surveillance video from inside the school’s library on Feb. 21 shows Smith kicking a 5-year-old student. The student’s family is now pursuing a civil action in the matter, and the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing criminal charges in the case.
The board of education approved Smith’s termination as a teacher on March 5 as part of its consent agenda.
The incident was first brought to light by KCTV, which aired the surveillance video footage as well as audio of the student’s mother speaking with district officials about the interaction last week.
In the video, Smith can be seen instructing her kindergarteners as they lined up in the library. The student refused to join her classmates in lining up and exiting the classroom and crawled into a low library shelf. After the rest of the class had exited the library, Smith reached down to pull her out from the bookshelf. The girl continued to lay on the floor, and after a period Smith kicked her on her back near her shoulder one time.
Audio recorded by the student’s mother captured Smith categorizing the red marks that the mother found on her child’s arms after the incident as the result of her “lashing about and crawling into the bookshelf.”
The district said it placed Smith on leave as soon as the physical interaction came to its attention and that she never had contact with students again.