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Lawsuit: San Angelo Daycare Worker Terrorized 4-Year-Old Girl by Pretending to Call Police, Berating Her

Daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm fight to hold Trinity Lutheran School accountable for abuse and inappropriate discipline tactics

SAN ANGELO, Texas, Feb. 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Parents in San Angelo are seeking answers, alleging a teacher at Trinity Lutheran School screamed at, belittled, ridiculed, and physically shoved their 4-year-old daughter during an incident in March 2021. Patrick and Melissa Killingsworth are suing the private school, claiming the teacher went so far as pretending to call to local police in front of their daughter’s preschool class after a coloring activity went awry. Surveillance recordings at the school captured the teacher yelling at the girl, saying things like, “You are going to jail because you don’t listen” and “You’re going to get locked in the dungeon…and you’re not going to talk to your mommy and daddy,” according to the complaint.

In addition to the verbal abuse, the lawsuit states classroom surveillance cameras at Trinity Lutheran School caught the teacher pushing the 4-year-old to the ground and forcing her into a closet at the back of the room leaving her in there with the lights off. After the teacher pulls the Killingsworths’ daughter out of the dark closet, she continues to mock the crying girl by yelling, “Stop that ugly face! Oh, you need your mommy and daddy? Are they going to make you do what you’re supposed to do?” The complaint continues that the sound of a slap can be heard off camera.

The classroom video fed directly into the Trinity Lutheran School’s administration office, yet no employees or fellow teachers intervened, according to the suit. In addition, the suit alleges employees passing by the classroom did not stop upon hearing the little girl’s loud cries and screaming.

“What happened to my daughter at Trinity Lutheran School is nothing short of horrific,” says Melissa Killingsworth. “No child deserves to be verbally or physically tortured by a teacher whose role is to grow a love of learning and friendship-building at school. My daughter is traumatized because of this school’s failures.”

The lawsuit states an investigation revealed the teacher at Trinity Lutheran School struggled with her mental health. The complaint claims she experienced panic attacks in front of the school’s director and had been hospitalized a month prior to the incident involving the Killingsworths’ daughter. Instead of placing the teacher on administrative leave or adding an aide to the preschool classroom, the school insisted the teacher return to work, according to the suit. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission cited the school for breaking five childcare laws, and the state licensing department placed Trinity Lutheran School on a six-month corrective plan.

“The appalling actions of a teacher terrorizing a preschooler, and the administrative decisions at Trinity Lutheran School that enabled this to happen, are deeply disturbing,” says one of the Killingsworths’ attorneys, Russell Button of The Button Law Firm. “We aim to hold those responsible at this school for the lack of care and unnecessary trauma experienced by our client’s young daughter while under their watch.”

“Our mission is to use the power of the law to safeguard the well-being of our client’s daughter and other children in San Angelo’s schools and daycare centers,” says Button’s co-counsel, Mary Golder of Webb, Stokes & Sparks

The case is Patrick and Melissa Killingsworth, Individually and as parents and next friends of P.K., a minor child, vs. Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Congregation, Cause No. D230014C in the District Court of Tom Green County, Texas. A copy of the complaint can be accessed here.

About the Button Law Firm
The Button Law Firm (buttonlawfirm.com) is a Texas-based personal injury law firm that advocates for children and their families in meaningful litigation to make local communities safer. The firm focuses on daycare and child-related injuries such as abuse and neglect cases, bottle warmer burns, traumatic brain injuries, and catastrophic injuries. With attorneys in Dallas, Houston, and Midland, The Button Law Firm helps families move forward across the Lone Star State.

SOURCE The Button Law Firm

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lawsuit-san-angelo-daycare-worker-terrorized-4-year-old-girl-by-pretending-to-call-police-berating-her-302053627.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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