Alabama grandma claims therapist slapped her 3-year-old granddaughter yet authorities aren’t acting on it

Dollita Okine April 24, 2024
Credit: Mogiarthria Free Stock Photos

Alabama grandma Lucretia Johnson has accused Haley Booker Shay, a speech therapist at a nearby clinic, of slapping her 3-year-old granddaughter during one of her sessions.

Johnson, who has full custody of her granddaughter, claims that she reported the event to the clinic’s personnel and the local police, but that no significant disciplinary action has been taken. Her case, however, piqued the interest of civil rights activist Essie Berry, who has called for a federal probe into the alleged occurrence.

Black News reports that the accusations first arose when the grandmother of the child requested a written explanation from the clinic regarding Shay’s actions, which allegedly included slapping the young girl on January 25, 2024. The grandmother adds that despite her efforts—which included reporting the event to the clinic staff and the local police—there has been no resolution, so she has taken the matter up with the local authorities and healthcare regulators.

The child’s face showed signs of slight redness and swelling, as corroborated by photos of her injuries and medical exams from Dothan Pediatric Clinic, PA. In addition to documenting these claims, the kid allegedly told the medical professionals that Shay had slapped her and used offensive words.

The grandmother, however, has become increasingly agitated and has filed a complaint with the Alabama Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (ABESPA), which has hardly gotten any support.

The legal system’s response has been similarly dismal, with claims that Shay, who is White, was just summoned to court and not arrested—a leniency the grandma says would not be granted if the racial roles were reversed.

Berry highlights how this case exemplifies larger racial inequities in the American court system and calls for reform and accountability to deal with these systemic problems. 

The two say they have since joined forces to raise awareness of this matter, pursue justice, and work to stop such acts in the future.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: April 24, 2024


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