Kadericca Smith, 26, and Alexis Henderson ,19, surrendered themselves to authorities after footage they filmed on Snapchat of them abusing an autistic eight-year-old boy gained a lot of attention.
The video, which is three minutes long, depicts the two child care workers teasing and mistreating the young boy, who seems to be going through an emotional incident due to his condition. The women throw shoes and a book bag at the boy, while encouraging him to fall flat on his face. They also berate the boy by calling him a chicken and taunting him with chicken noises. Another moment seen in the video footage shows one of the workers forcing the boy to separate his arms and causing him to fall by sweeping his legs out from underneath him.
Authorities were notified about the abuse after the video was uploaded to social media site, Snapchat. After further investigation, it was determined that the situation had taken place at Our Children’s Academy in Florida. The school’s website claims that it has over 175 students, ranging in age from 3 to 18, and accommodates pupils with different levels and kinds of disabilities.
According to reports, police officials state Smith and Henderson were both qualified to interact with autistic students. Since the abuse has come to light, both women have been let go from their jobs and The Department of Children and Families has temporarily suspended their certifications.
The 8-year-old boy that was the victim of abuse suffers from autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and opposition defiant disorder.
When authorities first questioned Smith and Henderson they said they did what had to be done in order to deal with the child accordingly. After officials concluded that criminal activity had taken place, they were originally unable to bring the women into custody.
Eventually, both women turned themselves into the Polk County Jail. Alexis Henderson has been accused of child neglect and has since posted bail. Kadericca Smith is looking at charges of abuse and battery and is being kept in jail without bail.