The community’s rush to defend preschool mom Kasey Brooks for allegedly attacking her child’s teacher at a Grovetown church is “a bit reckless,” according to the teacher’s attorney.
Attorney Jack Long said it was short-sighted to form an opinion without being shown any evidence. He also suggested some social-media comments border on slander and harassment of his client.
In an interview Wednesday, Long said nothing corroborates the mom’s assertion that she was justified in last week’s attack at St. Teresa Avila Catholic Church’s preschool program.
In a statement to The Jail Report, Brooks claimed that she watched three hours of surveillance video of teacher June Barrow mishandling her 2-year-old son Hatcher before the physical confrontation. That video has not been released to the public.
But Long released church video showing Brooks’ assault on his 61-year-old client to The Augusta Press (see below). The attorney described it as “an enraged attack by a woman who is swinging to the point where she has her shirt ripped off in the process.”
Brooks was charged with battery and later filed criminal abuse allegations against the teacher. The sheriff’s office is reviewing four days of footage.
“I find it shocking that people would go out of such a limb to publicly voice an opinion as fact without being presented any evidence other than the statement of a woman who has pending violent criminal charges,” he said.
Long said he doesn’t expect for his client to be charged since any allegations of mistreatment are materially false. He said that is why the church put her on leave with pay. It’s a paid vacation, Long said.
The attorney also suggested he is reviewing online harassment of his client by “keyboard warriors” that may constitute libel or slander. He said people should never make public statements of criminal accusations without direct evidence.
“It is a shock to me that people are willing to stretch their reputations based on the non-supported statements by one person in the community,” he said.
For her part, Brooks said she took her non-verbal son to the Mother’s Day Out Program at the church after a therapist said it would be good for him to be around other children. The parent said she was upset over how Hatcher was handled last Tuesday. She came to discuss the matter the next day with Barrow and school director. During the meeting, Brooks allegedly punched and hit Barrow in the back of the head, repeatedly.
After her release on bond, Brooks contacted The Jail Report immediately in anticipation of the story making the news. She requested to tell her side of the story.
Her emotional account went viral, attracted national media coverage and created an avalanche of support. Donations for Brooks’ legal fees have exceeded $20,000 on her GoFundMe page.
Still, there are unanswered questions. Long says people should be asking why the mother was at the school looking at surveillance video in the first place.
“It was not because her child showed any signs of abuse,” he said. “She had multiple meetings with administrators at the program about her child. This was not the first such meeting.”
This week, Brooks appeared briefly in court, where a judge modified conditions of her bond to include a no-contact provision. That prevents Brooks from contacting the teacher or the teacher’s family.