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Shawnee Mission Christian School Wee Care worker charged with child abuse

Rachel Schrader
Posted at 7:40 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 23:58:16-04

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan.  — Editor's note: 41 Action News wants to warn readers and viewers that the details in this article and video might be upsetting. We are sharing them, along with a picture of the day care employee, because the district attorney is encouraging other families who've come into contact with her and suspect abuse to come forward.

A Kansas City, Kansas, woman is facing four counts of child abuse involving children in her care at a Johnson County day care.

Rachel Beth Schrader, 24, was caught on camera kicking, hitting and shaking children under the age of 1, according to police.

Rachel Schrader
Rachel Schrader is facing four counts of child abuse involving children in her care at a Johnson County day care.

Court documents state that Schrader has been terminated from her job at Shawnee Mission Christian School Wee Care, the day care located inside the Westwood school. She currently is out on bond.

Authorities believe this started in late March. Day care staff allegedly noticed an injury to an infant and reviewed security footage.

That's when staff reported seeing Schrader harming a child.

That footage was turned over to the police, who reviewed it and said they witnessed 170 instances in a one-month time period where she was abusive toward children in her care.

The affidavit states those instances include "smacking a child in the face when he stopped holding a bottle," and then "throwing the child."

In another instance, she's accused of striking a student in the face, then "kicking him in the face and side."

The report also noted she was seen "smothering an infant with his bib for a few seconds," then "slamming the child onto the floor" before kicking him and slamming him again.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said it's too soon to say if the children suffered any lasting injuries, but that he couldn't go into specifics due to the ongoing investigation. Still, he said his office is taking this case seriously.

"We feel like the sheriff's office did a great investigating in this," Howe said. "We are continuing to follow up with parents and other witnesses. We will do our very best to see that there is justice done for the small children, as well as their parent."

Howe said the school is fully cooperating with law enforcement.

However, the 41 Action News I-Team discovered the Kansas Department of Health and Environment also is investigating and has cited the school's director for a delay in reporting the abuse.

The I-Team reached out to the Westwood School and was referred to their attorney, Maggie Tucker.

She declined to do an interview due to the ongoing investigation, but did speak to the I-Team over the phone.

"The school and church took the appropriate steps and are fully cooperating with police and the state," Tucker said over the phone. "The safety and well-being of children is of the utmost importance."

As for Schrader, in court documents, she admitted to losing her temper in the instance that prompted the investigation.

However, she also said this was the first time and denied mistreating other children. The video evidence, according to law enforcement, contradicts that.

Schrader appeared in court Thursday, and her case was continued.

The I-Team also reached out to Schrader's attorney but did not hear back before publication.

The child abuse charges she's facing are a level-four felony, typically punishable by four to 10 years in prison.