published Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Video of daycare worker slapping child shuts down facility

A 10-year-old girl recorded a video of a worker at daycare slapping another child, and it led to charges against the woman and the closing of the Murray County, Ga., daycare that she owned.

Karen Underwood was recorded slapping a 2-year-old boy while supervising both children at Karen's Kidz Daycare, which she had owned for several years.

The girl showed the video to her mom, Tammie Farmer, and told her that Underwood also had shoved children against walls in the past. Farmer showed the video to the mother of the boy who was hit, according to the Murray County incident report.

The boy's mother met with a Murray County officer on Aug. 7, the day she saw the video, to report the incident.

She showed the officer the video of her child being slapped in the mouth by Underwood after he refused to swallow food, according to the report.

"[The mother] responded like any mother would react to something like that," said Andy Dill, a Murray County lead detective. Her reaction was a combination of fear and anger, he said.

After the mother filed her complaint the authorities began interviews and obtained the actual video from the girl's iPod, according to Dill.

"Underwood was very cooperative and came in and spoke to us," Dill said.

He said no other allegations have been made against Underwood.

Underwood was arrested Aug. 12 on suspicion of battery and posted $2,000 bail that day. Her bond contained special conditions that she not work for or own any daycare facilities.

Karen's Kidz Daycare has been shut down and Underwood's business license suspended, according to officials.

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at kendi.anderson@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6592.

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