Preschool teacher accused of throwing chair at toddler

Bedford County preschool teacher arrested on aggravated child abuse charges, Brendan Tierney reports.
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 1:46 AM EST
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WARTRACE, Tenn. (WSMV/Gray News) - A preschool teacher in Tennessee is facing child abuse charges after deputies say she threw a metal chair at a 3-year-old girl, hitting her in the head.

The Bedford County Sheriff’s Department said the alleged incident happened on Dec. 28 at the Stay-N-Play Learning Preschool in the Bell Buckle area. The accused teacher, 22-year-old Camryn Faye Hunter, was arrested on aggravated child abuse charges.

Deputies said Hunter first told her bosses the girl fell and hit her head, but the classroom security cameras showed a very different story, WSMV reports.

“There were children in each area of the room,” Detective Savanah Martin said. “The victim was behind a table. The teacher just stood up and picked a chair up over her head and threw it straight at the little girl.”

Martin said the girl had a bruise and knot between her eyes from being hit with the chair. She had to be taken to the hospital.

“I was speechless,” she said about watching the video. “I couldn’t believe it and couldn’t understand why because it didn’t look like the child was doing anything out of the ordinary that she shouldn’t have been.”

Investigators were not able to get Hunter to give a reason for throwing the chair.

“I don’t believe it was an accident at all,” Martin said. “There is no way it could’ve been an accident.”

Preschool owner Tammy Craig released a statement about the incident that said, “We followed every state protocol. The teacher was terminated immediately from the daycare. We turned it over to authorities immediately, and they are handling the rest of the case.”

Martin said the preschool is fully cooperating with the investigation and even called the Department of Children’s Services to report the issue themselves.

Hunter had been asked to leave the school before deputies could arrive on scene, but she was arrested for her actions later in the afternoon.

Craig said the preschool remains open and is committed to caring for its children. A DCS source tells WSMV the preschool is in good standing and has no previous violations.

“There was no way they could’ve known when they hired her that that was going to happen,” Martin said. “There are bad employees at every workplace.”

Hunter was taken into custody and has been released on a $10,000 bond. She is due in court on Jan. 18.

WSMV reached out to Hunter for this story but did not receive a response.