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Discipline from stepmother leads to 6-year-old's death

Posted at 12:34 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 13:34:29-04

BRYAN,TX — A loss of any child in a community is heartbreaking.

In this case, it seems the stepmother allegedly took discipline too far.

The added stress of the pandemic on parents may be a cause for child abuse and the lack of reporting it before it’s too late.

”We get reports from the statewide reporting hot-line of child abuse and we saw a 33 percent decrease in the number in reports and I think we can directly correlate that to teachers not seeing kids in school,” said Cary Baker, executive director of Scotty's House.

With virtual learning, teachers and extended family members are unable to make reports.

Jessica Bundren reportedly was disciplining Arianna Battelle for wetting the bed.

Carey Baker says signs of physical abuse are unexplained injuries.

”Kids are kids they’re into everything they get injuries and what you’re going to see if a child is being physically abused is bruising that when you ask a child what happened the story doesn’t make sense,” said Baker.

Other signs of physical abuse can be shown behaviorally as well.

”Much more behavioral based than what you might realize okay, so for example a child who sees someone who they may or may not want to hug,” said Kimberly Martinez, executive director for Voices for Children.

Adults must be aware of a child's behavior as it can say much more than you think.

Carey Baker executive director of Scotty's House explains that most cases show that someone close is usually causing the abuse.

”What we see more than anything is people like to think it’s stranger danger that someone else is going to be the one hurting their kid and I can tell you that over 90% percent of the kids we saw last year the person that abused them whether it was sexual abuse or physical abuse was a known... It was a family member a family friend,” said Baker.

Parents are wearing many hats today as teachers and the parent.

Baker says to utilize organizations within the community such as Project Unity’s parenting classes or United Way to use resources to help provide the extra support you may need at this time.

The case is still under investigation. Neighbors are saddened by the loss of this young life and say that Jessica Bundren is expecting another child.