Video footage appears to show a Mississippi teacher dragging a student by her hair and smacking her in the head.
The Greenville Police Department and the Greenville Public School District are both investigating after the footage surfaced on social media last week.
In a video shared by ViralHog, a woman sitting in a chair inside a gymnasium appears to grab a girl by her hair as she lies on the floor, kicking out her legs and appearing to struggle.
After the woman lets go of the child’s hair, the girl tries to stand but the woman grabs her again, dragging her across the floor by her hair before returning to her seat, the now-viral video shows.
In a second video, the woman can be seen hitting the girl in the head and forcing the child to sit in her lap, holding the girl’s arms down when she tries to stand.
According to the woman who originally posted video of the September 21 incident to Facebook, the woman is a teacher at the school and the girl is a special-needs student.
Kesha Williams has three children, including one daughter with special needs, at the school and said she was stunned when her other daughter sent her the disturbing footage.
“I immediately started crying,” Williams told InsideEdition.com. “Just the fact that this was a child who was a special needs child, it immediately pissed me off—excuse my words—but it made me mad.”
Williams uploaded the footage, which she said was filmed by another child other than her daughter, in an effort to shed light on what she said was an ongoing problem.
“I asked my daughter ‘why is she doing this,'” Williams said. “She said ‘she always do … this, she says [that little girl] is bad.’”
Williams said the child in the video has limited speech abilities, but was able to yell in an effort to stop the alleged attack.
“She was able to tell her stop,” Williams said. “You can see in the video, she’s telling her stop and she’s also crying.”
Calling the incident an “isolated matter,” a spokesman for the Greenville Public School District said the “matter is under a very aggressive and ongoing investigation.”
“This type of negative behavior will not be accepted nor tolerated in this school system,” the spokesman said in a statement, saying the district is shocked by the incident.
The district will take appropriate disciplinary action after the investigation into the incident is complete, he said.
Administrators are also providing additional professional development for the district’s employees, will ensure district best practices are being followed at all times and are working to ensure and improve parents’ involvement in the district’s collaborative decision making process, the statement said.
The teacher’s current status was not immediately clear.
“The district cannot and will not discuss personnel matters. We cannot release information that can and or will comprise the investigation,” the spokesman said.
Online documents show that the teacher, who has not been officially named, has been licensed since at least 2014 to instruct children in kindergarten through 12th grade with physical handicaps, mild and moderate disabilities, as well as severe disabilities.
“I just want justice for [the little girl],” Williams said. “This is not acceptable. A teacher should be there to teach, not to harm. Parents leave their kids at school thinking they’re in good hands, but this little girl was in more harm going to school than just being out in the street.”