Two employees at a Cranston, New Jersey day care center have been arrested and charged with fourth degree child abuse for staging physical fights between their charges. This is just the latest in what seems to be a rash of national incidents in which toddlers, some as young a three years old, are encouraged to fight one another.
Erica Kenny, 22, and Chanese White, 28, were arrested by police and led away from the Lightbridge Academy day care center in this New Jersey town. These staged fights between children have become known as toddler “fight clubs”; so named after the Hollywood movie of the same name. The fights are staged and filmed and then released on Snapchat and other video platforms according to the New York Post and NJ.com.
The prosecutor in the New Jersey case has stated that children between the ages of four and six are seen on video attempting to hit one another and are being encouraged by the adults in charge. Kenny, herself, can be heard on the video using the “fight club” reference. Officials representing the day care center admitted the violence was going on but labeled it isolated and unfortunate. Parents, of course, are extremely distraught and angry.
Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the only incident of staged fights at day care centers. In Delaware, according to NJ.com, a day care center had its license suspended when it was discovered that a couple of three years old were going at it while being captured on video. In the incident, one of the toddler’s was complaining that the other child was pinching. Day care workers can be heard telling the children, “no pinching, only punching”.
Last year, in Texas, a video showed a four year old being severely beaten by a classmate. The day care worker involved in the melee was fired. In an incident on Ohio, two teachers were fired for staging and encouraging a fight between a three year old boy and girl. The teachers were heard on tape encouraging the children to fight and to stop crying. When these Ohio day care workers were asked why they didn’t stop the fighting, they replied that they “didn’t want to get injured”.