Kansas woman arrested in Lampasas; charged with Child Abuse
LAMPASAS, TX – A woman from Wichita, Kansas, was arrested Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot of a McDonald’s in Lampasas and was charged with continued abuse to her 13-year-old daughter, authorities say.
Lampasas police arrested Jamey Rae Schmidt, 31, after responding to reports of Schmidt abusing her daughter inside her family’s vehicle in the restaurant’s parking lot. Schmidt faces a felony charge of injury to a child with bodily injury.
Lampasas Assistant Chief Jody Cummings said Schmidt’s husband, a 7 and 8-year-old and a dog were also inside the vehicle at the time.
Police identified evidence of a “fresh, minor” assault upon arrival, but further investigation determined the 13-year-old was a victim of prior assaults.
“We made an arrest for something we didn’t see, but determined it rose in seriousness from the evidence,” Cummings said.
Police did not say what motive was behind Schmidt’s alleged abuse.
Cummings said there were no reports of abuse to the 13-year-old’s siblings. The children were released with Schmidt’s husband.
Texas Elementary Teacher Suspended After Discussing Sexual Orientation
MANSFIELD, TX – An elementary school teacher in Texas was suspended after she allegedly spoke about her sexual orientation with her students, officials said Tuesday.
Charlotte Anderson Elementary art teacher Stacy Bailey, 31, was suspended with pay in September. Officials with the Mansfield Independent School District (ISD) said it received complaints from parents about her discussing her sexual orientation with students.
In a statement sent to Newsweek, Mansfield ISD said it is their “general rule not to comment on employee personnel matters” but misinformation about Bailey’s personnel matter had “created disruption to the Charlotte Anderson Elementary School education environment.”
District officials said the teacher was not suspended over her request to include LGBTQ language in its nondiscrimination policy. Instead, the district said, Bailey was suspended because she “insists that it is her right and that it is age appropriate for her to have ongoing discussions with elementary-aged students about her own sexual orientation, the sexual orientation of artists, and their relationships with other gay artists.”
“Parents have the right to control the conversation with their children, especially as it relates to religion, politics, sex/sexual orientation, etc.,” the statement continued.
Bailey had been warned after the district received parents’ complain but “refused to follow administration’s directions regarding age-appropriate conversation with students,” officials said.
The teacher’s attorney, Giana Ortiz, said that the situation began when she talked to students about her family, including her wife.
“The district appears to speak for Stacy when it states that she ‘insists it is her right and that is it is age appropriate’ to discuss matters including ongoing discussions about her own sexuality. This is absolutely false. Further, she never received directives to change her behavior—and never refused to follow any directive,” Ortiz told The Dallas Morning News.
Ortiz expressed frustration about the school district’s decision to speak about Bailey’s suspension, saying it violated Bailey’s rights under the Constitution.
Bailey’s supporters have rallied behind her, with parents pleading with the school board to reinstate their “beloved teacher” back to the classroom.
Florence Bruner, who has children at Charlotte Anderson Elementary, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “As a parent, we ask a lot of our children and our teachers, but there are two things we hope for the most — one is a teacher whose love of the subject inspires students, and the other is a teacher who cares deeply for our children. Stacy Bailey is without question both of these.”
Bruner, whose fourth-grade daughter has taken art classes with Bailey since kindergarten, added that Bailey is “dearly missed and loved by the children.”
Nearly three dozen people, including Bailey’s wife, father and sister, voiced their support for her during a school board meeting on Tuesday. Eight people, including third-grader Kaine Hendrix, spoke to the board about Bailey’s departure or to ask about including LGBTQ-inclusive language in the district’s anti-discrimination policy.
“Ms. Bailey was my teacher, my role model and someone who always cheered me up,” the 9-year-old boy said. “Every time I go to art it is not the same.”
Family Of 1-Year-Old Who Died In Hot Car Had No DCF History
#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters
MIAMI, FL – The Department of Children and Families says the family of a 1-year-old who died after being left in a hot car had no history with the child welfare system.
The department has opened a child protective investigation but says all details remain confidential.
DCF Secretary Mike Carroll did release a statement saying,
“My heart goes out to this family who have lost a precious child. It is easy to assume this could never happen to you, but time and time again I see caregivers who let themselves slip into a routine when transporting children and make a fatal mistake when that routine is disrupted. More than half of all child deaths from hot cars are the result of a parent inadvertently leaving the child in their car..”
The case prompted strong words from Miami-Dade Police spokesman, Detective Alvaro Zabaleta.
He told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “This is something that we, in society, cannot allow to continue to happen. The precious cargo in your car is a child and there is no way that we as parents can forget the precious child in your car. This is happening way too often.”
“No matter how hectic our schedule is, no matter how fast paced our lives are, we can not allow our kids to be put in danger,” said Zabaleta. “We just need to learn how to slow down and concentrate on what we are doing.”
The 1-year-old boy was apparently forgotten in the car Wednesday at a strip mall near Bird Road and 97th Avenue.
The baby’s mother works at a beauty salon in the mall, according to witnesses. They said she was not supposed to work on Wednesday but came in on her day off.
She reportedly came to work at the Forever Young Spa around 9 a.m., parked the car in the back and, at about 12:30 p.m., they heard loud screams and commotion when she found her child.
The baby was a transported to Kendall Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
It was a hot day Wednesday with temperatures in the mid-80s. Temperatures inside the car could’ve reached up to 100°.
Witnesses said the mother was devastated and screaming. She said something along the lines of because of work – this happened.
At this time, it is unclear if there will be any charges related to this incident. Zabaleta said the case is being referred to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office. Witnesses said police have recovered surveillance tape from the scene but it is not being released.
A friend of the family said that family members were too upset to say anything right now.
At the salon, customers said they were upset after hearing the news.
“I can’t imagine anything like this happening,” said Cathy O’Sullivan, who also has children.
Another customer, Shanin Alvarez, said, “This is such a sad story to hear this. I don’t know what happened, if she was distracted or if she is a first-time mother.”
Customer Lidia Gutierrez said, “It is horrible. It is just so sad.” Her friend and another customer, Iala Isarque, said, “I just really have no words to say.”
Following the incident, Carroll did ask parents to find a safety strategy that works for them, suggesting the following:
Be sure to check the back seat every time you leave the vehicle.
Put your purse, briefcase, lunch, etc. in the backseat so you are sure to look before you lock the door.
Do not let your children play near vehicles; they may accidentally lock themselves in.
If there is a change in plans and someone else is dropping your kids off, have them call you at drop off so you know everyone made it safely.
For more information on tips to hot car preventions, click here.
On average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.
AG Paxton’s Child Exploitation Unit Arrests Johnson County Man for Promotion of
AUSTIN, TX – Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that the Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) of his office arrested 64-year-old David Wynn McClary of Cleburne, Texas on five arrest warrants for Promotion of Child Pornography, which is a second-degree felony.
According to Texas law, he could face up to 20 years in prison per charge.
McClary was arrested after investigators discovered child pornography was shared from an IP address connected to his home.
Several digital storage devices were seized for examination by the Attorney General’s Digital Forensics Unit, which revealed images and videos of child pornography.
McClary was booked at the Johnson County Jail, and his bond is currently set at $250,000.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators online.
The CEU proactively seeks out and arrests predators who commit crimes against children using technology and online sources.
Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks our children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety.
If you suspect someone is producing or downloading child pornography you can report it to NCMEC.
STARKVILLE, MS – It’s a problem that plagues every community, child abuse.
“A child is an innocent person and often times they really can’t be able to help themselves,” said West Point Police Chief Avery Cook.
Law enforcement said they’re seeing a rise in the number of reported child abuse cases.
Sally Kate Winters Family Services reports from 2016 to 2017, the organization saw a 73 percent increase in the number of child abuse interviews they conducted.
The abuse comes in different forms, and Sally Kate Winters is on the front-line in many of these investigations.
“Sally Kate Winters provides forensic interviews for child victims of abuse, so we do felony child abuse investigations and we interview kids who’ve been abused,” said Morgan Colley, Children’s Advocacy Center Advocate at Sally Kate Winters Family Services.
Now the organization is sharing its knowledge.
During a Child Abuse Investigation Training on Monday, law enforcement officers, child protective services, and first responders learned new techniques for spotting signs of mistreatment.
“We’re trying to help provide law enforcement with every tool that they need to investigate child abuse and child sexual crimes especially,” said Steven Woodruff, investigator for the district attorney’s office. “We’re seeing an uptake in that in our community, and we don’t think that it’s just now starting to happen, we think that it’s just beginning to be reported more.”
“We’re doing two different presentations, one on corroborating evidence, so we have a child that discloses something and getting them to think about some of the minor details that a child might bring up in their testimony to make their story come alive,” said Jim Holler, who conducted Monday’s training session. “This afternoon we’re doing one more investigative piece, especially physical abuse investigations and what the investigators can do to help the kids to help make their stories come alive.”
Holler is a former police chief with more than three decades of law enforcement experience.
He said the tools everyone learned during the training session are important and can help prosecutors be more effective.
“Just trying to put all the facts together and making sure that we’ve got the details, so we can bring a strong case to our prosecutors office, and hopefully that case will be strong enough to go proceed without a child having to testify,” said Holler.
Sally Kate Winters and the district attorney’s office co-sponsored the training session.