Police in Winter Haven Florida have arrested two childcare workers, after a Snapchat video showed them taunting an 8-year-old autistic boy.
In the video Kaderrica Smith and Alexis Henderson, both employees at Our Children’s Academy, are seen throwing a backpack at the visibly upset boy and can be heard taunting him.
The boy, who was diagnosed with autism, ADHD, ODD, and severe outbursts, can be seen crying and hiding under a table while the two women berate him.
The three-minute-long video also shows the boy running toward one of the women, who stops him and trips him, causing him to fall on his back. It also shows one woman throwing a backpack at him, which hits him in the face.
According to WFLA news, the women initially denied any wrongdoing, claiming they were acting appropriately for the situation.
Our Children’s Academy immediately fired the women and placed their childcare certifications on hold, preventing them from being employed by other childcare providers during the investigation. According to ABC Action News, the women only received their certifications last month.
The child, who has not been identified, was interviewed by the Florida Department of Children and Families and it was determined that the women committed criminal acts against him.
“These workers were supposed to be trained on how to handle children with behavioral issues,” said Police Chief Charlie Bird. “They are trained to de-escalate situations, but that obviously did not happen.”
Smith is being charged with battery and child abuse, while Henderson is being charged with child neglect. They have not yet been arrested.
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