LEXINGTON, Kentucky (WLEX) – A Whitley County head start caregiver has been arrested and suspended from her position following accusations that she bit a child, then spanked the girl, as a form of discipline.
Ginger Hackler, a Bell-Whitley Head Start employee was charged Wednesday with two counts of third-degree criminal abuse. According to Williamsburg Police, on Monday, Hackler bit the teething toddler’s left arm, leaving teeth impressions and bruising.
“That makes my stomach turn,” the child’s mother, Larissa King told LEX 18, identifying the victim as 15-month-old Railee King. “I was under the impression that, you know, that another kid had bit her.”
Larissa King said she was surprised to learn that social services was at the school taking pictures of her daughter and that Hackler was behind bars.
“I thought highly of this teacher and stuff. Wouldn’t have ever thought she’d bite a kid. Especially a 15-month-old baby,” King said. “[She] left the full mouth teeth prints on her arm of like every tooth in her head.”
King said her daughter had been attending Bell-Whitley Head Start since she was just six weeks old.
“I hope justice gets served in this. Not just let her off with a simple thing, you know, because this is a big thing. It’s abuse,” King said.
Hackler was released from the Whitley County Detention Center on bond. LEX 18 reached out to her, but our calls were not returned.
Bell-Whitley Head Start released a statement to LEX 18 that reads in part: “The safety of our children is the first priority of our head start program. We will continue to comply with all manners of the investigation and expect it to be completed in a timely manner. The teacher in question has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.”