Former Boone County, Ark., teacher's aide faces felony for abusing 4-year-old

Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 5:13 PM CST
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Four-year-old Aiden has plenty of energy.

"The ADHD, the ODD and the anxiety. You know he can't help that," said his mom, Mickey Witt.

And his family knows he can be a handful.

"We understand how difficult it can be when dealing with a child with ADHD. We live it every day," said Aiden's grandma, Liz Witt.

But what they can't understand is a teacher's aide putting her hands on him.

Court documents suggest 52-year-old Traci Lawson did on January 28 while Aiden was at Bergman Preschool.

Mickey Witt says Aiden was only at preschool for an hour and a half that day, then later when he was home she noticed how red his ears were.

"I said, 'Aiden what happened to your ears?' That's when he told the story," she said.

In court documents, Lawson told police she was trying to calm Aiden down. Lawson said Aiden headbutted her, and she lost it, twisting and pulling his ears. A fellow teacher's aide confirmed what happened. The report said his ears had bruises and scratch marks.

"He's not comfortable with going back to school," his mom said. "He still has nightmares. He's worried that she's going to be there."

She won't be. The group in charge of hiring teacher's aides said over the phone Lawson was no longer employed and they reported it appropriately.

Still, Bikers Against Child Abuse, or BACA, is making sure Aiden understands there are plenty of grownups who are looking out for you.

"We're hoping that we can remove his fear, especially and more specifically, about going back to school," said Head Case, with BACA.

Aiden's family believes the school and police handled the situation well. Now they're pushing to make sure something like this doesn't happen to someone else.

"We would just like to see maybe better training in de-escalating kids that are overstimulated and have sensory issues," Liz Witt said.

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