Daycare workers are being charged with child abuse after allegedly staging "fight club" bouts among 4- to 6-year-old children at Lightbridge Academy in New Jersey.
The two women, who have since been fired, are Erica Kenny, 22, and Chanese White, 28. The pair not only reference the violent 1999 movie during the altercations among preschool and kindergarten students, but Kenny also allegedly shot video of the fights and posted them to social-media app Snapchat, according to CBS New York.
"About a dozen children — boys and girls between the ages 4
and 6 — just fighting; throwing each other to the ground; hitting each other," Union
(N.J.) County prosecutor Grace Park tells the news site.
The video allegedly shows the kids "shoving
each other to the ground and trying to hit each other," prosecutors told CBS New York.
While prosecutors don't believe there
were any serious injuries, they are still investigating the case, which
originated on August 13.
"It's just quite shocking," Eliana Meira Rantz, whose two sons attended the daycare, tells the New York Daily News. "I'm now staying home with the kiddos and working part-time. You can't trust anybody."
In a statement to the press, Lightbridge Academy said:
"As parents and caregivers, we are shocked and saddened by this isolated incident and we have assisted the prosecutor's office from the start of its investigation into this matter. While no children were physically harmed during this incident, we have a zero tolerance policy for anyone who acts in conflict with the core value of Lightbridge Academy — the safety and well-being of children."
However, when CBS 2 reporter Christine Sloan asked Jaclyn Falzarano, Lightbridge Academy's vice president, how the alleged fights went unnoticed by supervisors, Falzarano deflected and turned to the issue of safety.
"Again, what we really would like to focus on at this point is that all of the children are safe," she said.
The former daycare workers are being charged with fourth-degree child abuse, according to CBS News, with Kenny getting the added charge of endangering the welfare of a child.