Two childcare workers in Florida demonstrated they are on the wrong career path this week, after being identified on a video they posted to Snapchat, taunting and physically abusing an 8-year-old autistic child.
The three-minute clip shows the two workers, 26-year-old Kaderrica Smith and 19-year-old Alexus Henderson, at Our Children’s Academy in Winter Haven, laughing as they incite the child into borderline hysteria. The boy reportedly suffers from autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and severe outbursts.
In the clip, the boy can be seen running around as they shout things at him, then crying and hiding under a table as Smith throws his shoes and backpack at him. She then proceeds to physically accost him, grabbing his upper body, which causes him to retreat back under the table.
Another instance shows one of the women trip the boy as he runs at them, a move identified by Winter Police as a “leg sweep.”
“These workers were supposed to be trained in how to handle children with behavioral issues,” Winter Haven Police Chief Charlie Bird said in a statement. “They are trained to de-escalate situations, but that obviously did not happen.”
Both Henderson and Smith told investigators they “felt they were acting appropriately” and “did nothing wrong” during initial interviews with police. However, both were fired by the facility; additionally, their certifications, which they had only had for a month at that point. were placed on hold by the state’s Department of Children and Families.
Investigators determined on Sep. 15 that both Henderson and Smith committed criminal acts while caring for the boy. The pair surrendered after police issued warrants for their arrest.
Smith was charged with battery and child abuse. Henderson was booked for child neglect.
See the video footage below (warning: disturbing). NOTE: if video not showing up on Facebook, click here.
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