Last week, I posted a story about how 28-year-old Kasey Marie Brooks (below) beat up her son’s 61-year-old preschool teacher June Barrow at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Grovetown, Georgia after allegedly seeing video of Barrow assaulting her non-verbal two-year-old son. Barrow suffered bite marks and a swollen face.
There was video of Brooks attacking the teacher, but after people heard her explanation for why she felt such rage, they seemed to overwhelmingly support her. A GoFundMe page raising money for her legal costs has already reached over $32,000.
That GoFundMe page also includes Brooks’ side of the story:
… For 3 hours I watched his teacher spank him, hit him in the head, slap him with a book, shove him to the ground, snatch him up by one arm and carry him across the room multiple times, slam him in his seat to make him eat lunch alone in time-out, pick him up by his ankles and hold him on his neck/head, grab his face so hard his cheeks were touching in his mouth as she was nose to nose with him, amongst other things. The daycare director dismissed her employee’s actions and ensured me she would be keeping her job…
We now have a few updates to the story but a lot of questions remain unanswered.
The main update is that the District Attorney’s office will not be filing charges against Barrow.
“After a thorough review of video evidence, investigators have concluded that no crime occurred. We asked our District Attorney’s Office to review the case and ADA Natalie Payne concurred with our findings,” sheriff’s Maj. Steve Morris said in a statement.
But the sheriff’s office reviewed at least four days of surveillance video of Barrow and the child before deciding there was nothing criminal in her behavior.
That video has not been made public, but a local news team says it’s working on getting the footage as soon as law enforcement can blur the faces of the other kids, which could take 4-5 days.) For now, we just have to take the officials’ word that nothing criminal occurred. Whether you believe that is another story. It’s the police and the Catholic Church; neither group has a stellar track record when it comes to honesty or handling abuse.
The church itself responded to the controversy over the weekend, telling parishioners that Barrow was cleared of wrongdoing:
“This week, Father Ingram was informed by the investigators of the Columbia County Sheriff’s office that a careful review of the entirety of all recordings showed no mistreatment of any child in our program and nothing to in anyway support the false narrative of the person who assaulted the teacher,” according to Rev. Mr. Bob Kepshire, who read the statement in a video of the 9 a.m. Sept. 12 mass on the St. Teresa of Avila website.
It’s not clear what the next steps are for Brooks, including if she’ll file a lawsuit against Barrow or the school. (Barrow’s lawyer said he doubts it since the allegations are “materially false.” He also cautioned against people taking sides since this entire controversy is based on one person’s account of what happened, which, for now, is a fair point.)
It’s also unclear if Brooks will be punished for assaulting the teacher; she was charged with battery but remains out on bond.
(Thanks to Kayla for the link)