A daycare teacher faces a felony child abuse charge after security cameras purportedly captured her physically assaulting a four-year-old boy, pinning him down and repeatedly slapping the child at a Texas preschool.
Tracy Ludwig, 36, was arrested and charged with injury to a child on November 9 following the alleged attack on the child. She bonded out of the Tarrant County Jail the next day.
The alleged incident happened on November 6 at Ludwig’s workplace, the Little Country Daycare & Preschool in the Fort Worth suburb of Haslet. According to Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, the child was removed from his classroom during nap time for being disruptive.
Reportedly, surveillance video captured the 10-minute incident depicting Ludwig straddling the boy as he lay on the floor next to a bookcase in an empty classroom. She restrained his wrists. The two struggled and, then, she began hitting the child in the face and on his upper torso.
Waybourn said he viewed the entire video. He told KXAS he found it disturbing. “I can see where it makes a parent’s blood boil when they see these unorthodox actions,” he said.
However, the boy’s mother, Kindsie Andreason, said the daycare director initially told her that son Hunter acted up and injured himself. Two days after the alleged assault the bruises on the four-year-old’s face and neck became more pronounced. This persistent mother sought answers from the school. She insisted Hunter “did not do it to himself.”
Another Little Country Daycare teacher purportedly told Andreason that the injuries were not self-inflicted. Subsequently, the director “offered” the mother to view the 10-minute video.
“It was just awful to see my son just sitting there being hit by someone you are paying to take care of your kid for you,” she said.
This week, Andreason posted about the ordeal on Facebook, recounting how, on November 6, when her husband picked up Hunter at the preschool he had red scratches on his face and neck. She included photos that showed them as well as handprint marks and bruises. The post included 20-seconds from the 10-minute video. Andreason said the file was too large a file to upload on social media. Still, the snippet served as a snapshot of the alleged incident.
According the Andreason, the complete version of the video showed “numerous teachers walked in” and watched the purported assault unfold. She wrote: “Hunter was written up for kicking teachers and when we asked what the scratches were from on his face, we were told he did it to himself.”
Since then, Andreason removed Hunter from the school. She said the boy was traumatized and has nightmares. The family hired an attorney. In addition to the criminal charges, she said they plan to file a civil lawsuit against the school.
On Facebook, she wrote: “It makes us absolutely sick that so many people knew what occurred and didn’t intervene, and tried to hide what happened.”
Andreason also advised parents. “If you see anything on your kid’s body or if they start acting different, bring it up. Ask questions until you get answers.”
A spokeswoman for Texas Child Protective Services said the state agency launched an investigation into this matter. Little Country Daycare has operated for more than 20 years. It incurred seven “deficiencies” over the past three years from Texas Health and Human Services, according to KXAS. The school was investigated for not reporting an incident of “inappropriate discipline of a child.”